Sean Connery may have played James Bond seven times. Jerry Orbach starred in 274 episodes of Law & Order. Yet, neither can equal the stamina or patience of George Lee Andrews, who’s appeared in a single Broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera, for 9,382 performances in just over 23 years. Now, after playing four different parts, he’s finally ready to say goodbye, announcing yesterday that Sept. 3’s evening performance will be his last.
The 68-year-old, Milwaukee-bred Andrews has been with Phantom since its opening night on Jan. 26, 1988, and originated the roles of Don Attilio and Passarino in the musical’s show-within-a-show. Back in 2010 he took a three-month leave from the production to star in Paradise Found in London. In a fitting turn, he hands over his current Phantom role as opera manager Monsieur André to his son-in-law, Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Ragtime), who begins his stint on Sept. 5. Also joining the cast are opera singer Christian Šebek (as Piangi) and Sister Act’s Kevin Ligon (as Firmin).