‘Phantom of the Opera,’ Broadway’s longest-running show, to close after 35 years

After more than three decades, “The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-runningshow in Broadway history, is closing.

A representative verified the show will play its final performance on Feb. 18,2023. It will have played 13,925 performances.

Directed by the late theater legend Harold Prince and featuring the music ofAndrew Lloyd Webber, “Phantom” opened Jan. 26, 1988. At that year’s Tonys, itwas nominated for 10 awards, winning 7 — including Best Musical. One of theshows it beat that year? Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”

“As a British producer who has been lucky enough to have been producing in NewYork for over 40 consecutive years, it has been an unparalleled honor to havepresented the longest-running musical in Broadway’s history,” said producerCameron Mackintosh in a news release . “That this legendary show has thrilledNew York for nearly 35 phenomenal years is quite astounding to me.”

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As much a part of the city landscape as the Empire State Building and theStatue of Liberty, the blockbuster phenomenon has long been a New York Citylandmark. While not a critical hit, the tourists kept coming year after toyear to see the show’s lavish sets and costumes, large cast and Broadway’slargest orchestra.

Ben Crawford as The Phantom in

Ben Crawford as The Phantom in

Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of the young soprano Christine, ThePhantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Unawareof Christine’s love for Raoul, The Phantom’s obsession sets the scene for adramatic 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 to nearly full capacity (1,655)decades after opening.

Based on the classic novel “Le Fantôme de L’Opéra” by Gaston Leroux, theshow’s lyrics are by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe,and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Webber. It has played to over 145 millionpeople in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages.

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But before it closes, the show at the Majestic Theater, 245 W. 44th St., willcelebrate its 35th anniversary on Jan. 26. The on-sale date for tickets forthe final four weeks of performances — including the 35th anniversary,Valentine’s Day and the final performance — as well as details on allcelebrations, will be announced at a future date.

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Photo signage of the Broadway playPhotosignage of the Broadway play

Photo signage of the Broadway play

“Phantom” became the longest-running show in Broadway history on Jan. 9, 2006— when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of “Cats,” another musicalfeaturing the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Representatives say it has beenseen by 19.5 million people and grossed $1.3 billion. In New York, the showemployed an estimated 6,500 people (including 450 actors) during its more than30-year run.

The musical changed the landscape for touring across the country, inspiringthe renovation of theaters and opera houses. The three original US nationaltours combined grossed over $1.5 billion, playing 216 engagements in 77 citiesto 31 million people.

As Broadway bids farewell, the show is still playing in London. A productionrecently appeared at the Sydney Opera House, and the first Mandarin languageversion of the show will open in China in 2023, the release said. AntonioBanderas wants to create a Spanish language production, the release added.

The New York production currently stars Ben Crawford as The Phantom and EmilieKouatchou as Christine. Ticket prices range from $29 to $169, with premiumtickets also available. Call 212-239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com for moreinformation.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: ‘ Phantom of theOpera,’ Broadway’s longest-running show, to close