Pop Culture

'Scandal' star tapped as first African-American 'Phantom of the Opera' lead 

Cindy Ord / Today
Norm Lewis has a Tony nomination for his work in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess."

After 26 years and nearly 11,000 performances, the man behind the mask on Broadway's long-running "Phantom of the Opera" will be an African-American. Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis has been tapped for the role, Variety reported Thursday.

Lewis is expected to make his debut on May 12, opposite Sierra Boggess as heroine Christine. He has appeared on in a number of Broadway musicals, including "Miss Saigon" and "Les Misérables," and earned his leading actor Tony nomination for his role as Porgy in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" in 2012. 

"Scandal" fans will certainly recognize Lewis: He plays Kerry Washington's love interest, Senator Edison Davis on the ABC series.

The character is a "dream role" he told the Wall Street Journal. "First, I love the show. Second, to set a precedent."

He also posted a joyful tweet after the news broke.