The longest running Broadway play is Andrew Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. It is a story about Music, Love, and Perseverance. Broadway star Sarah Brightman was the inspiration behind such stage hits as Phantom of the Opera and Requiem, written in her honor by ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber. Born on August 14, 1960 in Berkhampstead, England, Brightman began dancing at the age of three, and ten years later made her London theatrical debut in Charles Strouse’s I and Albert. By 1976, she was a dancer on the television series Pan’s People, and later led the pop group Hot Gossip, which in 1978 scored a U.K. number one hit with the single “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.” In 1981, she was cast in the role of Jemima in Lloyd Webber’s Cats; there she and the composer were introduced, and he divorced his first wife to marry her in 1984. Their relationship lasted through 1990, during which time Brightman created the role of Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera. Sarah inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the musical phenomenon which is the Phantom of the Opera. Andrew created the role of Christine for Sarah’s voice. The role of Christine showed just how versatile Sarah’s voice is. The Phantom of the Opera opened at Her Majesty’s Theater in London in the month of October, 1986. Sarah then premiered on Broadway in 1988, where she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Lloyd Webber wrote the part of Christine Daae specifically for Brightman and he insisted that she repeat the role in the New York production. American Actor’s Equity, a labor union representing American performers, objected, claiming that Brightman was not an “international star” or a “unique talent” and could not be exempt from union rules requiring American Equity members to be cast in American productions. After Lloyd Webber threatened to cancel the Broadway production entirely, Equity caved in and permitted Brightman to perform in exchange for an American performer being given the opportunity to work in England. After Sarah got the Broadway role she gave in interview with the Sunday Telegraph. “I always made my mark as Sarah Brightman … I am not saying I am the greatest thing since the world began but I obviously do my work fairly well to have got as far as I have. I had, you know, as strong a career as I could have had by the age of twenty before I met Lloyd Webber,” she told the Sunday Telegraph. She also pointed out that the casting decision in regard to the role of Christine was a collective one with Phantom’s director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh. Sarah Brightman hasn’t performed in Theater since the early 1990s and unfortunately does not seem eager to return to the Broadway stage, but it’s for certain that she has left her mark in our culture’s history for decades to come.