After more than three decades, The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history, is closing.
A representative has confirmed that the show will play its final performance on February 18, 2023. It will have played 13,925 performances.
Directed by the late theater legend Harold Prince and with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Phantom” opened on January 26, 1988. At that year’s Tonys, it was nominated for 10 awards, winning 7 of them, including Best Musical. One of the shows it beat that year? Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’.
“As a British producer who has been fortunate enough to produce in New York for more than 40 consecutive years, it has been an unparalleled honor to present the longest-running musical in Broadway history,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a press release. . “That this legendary show has captivated New York for nearly 35 phenomenal years is pretty amazing to me.”
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As much a part of the cityscape as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, the blockbuster phenomenon has long been a New York City landmark. Although it was not a critical hit, tourists continued to come year after year to see Broadway’s lavish sets and costumes, large cast and largest orchestra.
Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of young soprano Christine, The Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls in love with her. Unaware of Christine’s love for Raoul, The Phantom’s obsession sets the stage for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide. Featuring songs like “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” “All I Ask of You,” and “The Music of the Night,” the show played at nearly full capacity for decades after opening (1655).
Based on the classic novel “Le Fantôme de L’Opéra” by Gaston Leroux, the text of the show is by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Webber. It has played to over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages.
But before it closes, the show at the Majestic Theater, 245 W. 44th St., will celebrate its 35th anniversary on January 26. Day and the last performance – as well as details on all celebrations, will be announced at a future date.
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“Phantom” became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 — when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of “Cats,” another musical featuring the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Representatives say it has been seen by 19.5 million people and grossed $1.3 billion. In New York, the show employed an estimated 6,500 people (including 450 actors) for more than 30 years.
The musical changed the landscape for touring the country and inspired the renovation of theaters and opera houses. The three original US national tours combined grossed more than $1.5 billion, with 216 performances in 77 cities for 31 million people.
While Broadway is saying goodbye, the show is still playing in London. A production recently appeared at the Sydney Opera House and the first Mandarin-language version of the show is set to open in China in 2023, the release said. Antonio Banderas wants to make a Spanish-language production, according to the release.
The New York production currently stars Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Emilie Kouatchou as Christine. Ticket prices range from $29 to $169, with premium tickets also available. Call 212-239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com for more information.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: ‘Phantom of the Opera’, the longest-running Broadway show, is closing