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.
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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