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Valentine's Day: One of Broadway's most famous romances, 'The Phantom of the Opera,' celebrates its 25th year

As Valentine's Day arrives, one of the theater's most famous love stories is celebrating its twenty-fifth birthday. 'Phantom' opened on Broadway a few weeks before Valentine's Day in 1988.

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Actor Michael Crawford originated the role of the Phantom in 'The Phantom of the Opera' in London and moved with the production to Broadway.

Seth Wenig/Reuters

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Over the past quarter of a century, 37 different actresses have played the female lead in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. All 37 have been dressed by one woman: Erna Dias.

"I have no favorites. You can't do that," says Dias, who has been a wardrobe attendant with the show at the Majestic Theater in New York since rehearsals began.

She oversees each actress' 16 nightly costume changes — one so short she has only 34 seconds to get it done — and has rearranged her vacations to ensure she's present for each new heroine making her debut as Christine Daae.

 

"To keep this fresh, when I come in, I try to think of every night as opening night," she says. "I've been in this business 36 years and I never thought this show was going to last this long. This is unbelievable."

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