Ali Ewoldt’s take on ‘hanging her boots’ as Lead Role
Everything, good or bad, eventually comes to an end – and Broadway performers are not exempted from this universal rule. After playing the highly sought-after role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera for over 600 showings, Ali Ewoldt stepped down on November 17.
Being a part of the most successful musical in Broadway history is a great honor for any stage performer. It is therefore interesting for all West End fanatics to learn about the musical ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. In an Interview by Broadway.com, Ewoldt shares her experience at the helm of West End’s iconic musical, which she summarizes as extraordinary, fulfilling, and challenging.
When Ewoldt first received the news that she has been cast as Christine, it was an “incredulous” feeling and a dream come true. “I had been auditioning for Phantom (Vegas, Broadway, tour, etc.) for about 10 years at that point, so to finally book it was pretty surreal”. She went on to explain her experiences as the title character, stating the hardest, easiest, and highlighting moments of the job. In particular, she does not miss the physical exertion required of the role but relishes the chance to sing her “little soprano heart out on a Broadway stage”.
When asked to describe the highlight of her entire run, Ewoldt says “The 30th anniversary was really special—we had so many press adventures, got to spend time with original company members and our incredible creative team, and we performed for amazing audiences filled with our industry peers. It was wonderful to feel like part of the history and legacy of this show”.
Although she is leaving, Ewoldt left lasting memories in the minds of thousands of audiences, but not before she learnt something too. She claims to have grown “In more ways than I’m sure I even realize now. Definitely both as a performer and a human.” It is through her first-hand experience at the pinnacle of West End performance that she lays some words of wisdom to aspiring performers: “Make sure to take time for self-care, whatever that means for you. And find the fun in this show and this company. Also, while it is always important to honor the original vision of this show, don’t be afraid to bring a bit of yourself to your portrayal of Christine. Spoiler alert: she’s stronger than you think”. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate “perseverance and a sense of humor!”.
Ewoldt will definitely be remembered for her convincing and breathtaking performances. In her interview, she had a few warm words to the production team and audiences regarding her departure. “It’s definitely bittersweet. I am so proud of what I have accomplished in this show and excited to see what is next for me while knowing I will miss this role and my ‘phamily’ terribly. And I am incredibly grateful for the support and kindness I have received throughout this process from my family/friends/community and our fabulous ‘phans’”.
In a rather comical perspective, Ewoldt claims that she will miss the people, and she may take up a new role as the Phantom of the Majestic, “popping by to discuss Netflix shows with my stage managers and scaring Jay Armstrong Johnson.” As she leaves to take some time off the stage, Ewoldt will definitely be missed – we can only hope that her heir is just a charming.