The Phantom of the Opera will close after 35 years on Broadway

by Matthew Escosia
SEA Wave - Phantom of the Opera broadway
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By: Jaderick Buhay

 

Think of me, think of me fondly when we’ve said goodbye—The longest-running Broadway musical is set to close on February, due to box-office gross fluctuations.

The musical, which has been a mainstay on Broadway since 1988 and has survived recessions, wars, and social changes, will have its final performance on February 18th. The closure will occur less than a month after the company’s 35th anniversary. It will end with a whopping 13,925 performances.

Though “Phantom” appears to have earned a permanent place on Broadway, the show’s demise has been brought about by the most unfortunate of contemporary nuances: a drop in audience attendance because of COVID-19, buffeted by the decline in international tourism. Though the show had a strong comeback after 18 months of unprecedented closing due to the pandemic, it was not enough to cover the high production costs.

The show is created by three musical theater legends, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince, and producer Cameron Mackintosh and premiered in London’s West End in 1986, before its Broadway opening in January 26, 1988. Since then, it has been seen by over 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in 17 languages over 70,000 times. The musical has been seen by 19 million people on Broadway alone.

SEA Wave - Phantom of the Opera broadway

Photo from The Phantom of the Opera Facebook Page

Phantom of the Opera, based on Gaston Leroux’s novel, tells the story of a disfigured mask-wearing musician, who haunts the Paris opera house and falls madly in love with Christine, an innocent young soprano. Masquerade, Angel of Music, All I Ask of You, and The Music of the Night are among Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic songs.

The show will still run in London and in other parts of the world, and it may return to Broadway at some point, but the closure of the current production marks the end of an era, and the news was met with shock and sadness from fans of all ages.

What part of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera will you think of fondly? Share them in the comments!

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