Alternating between television series and award-winning roles in theatre during the 70s, Michael Crawford broke out with his title role in the musical "Barnum", which earned him several awards and proved a smash hit. He toured with the show during the early 80s, and Barnum's popularity was the decisive factor in Andrew Lloyd Webber's casting of him opposite Sarah Brightman in "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1986. The musical earned him immense critical praise, a Tony Award, and a hit single, "The Music of the Night", which reached the British Top Ten.