‘The Phantom of the Opera’ musical to close on NYC’s Broadway in 2023 following historic run

NEW YORK — The Phantom of the Opera — the longest-running Broadway show — is slated to wrap up in February 2023, the biggest casualty yet of declining theater attendance in New York following the pandemic.

The musical — a Broadway fixture since 1988, despite recessions, war and cultural shifts — will have its final Broadway performance on February 18, a spokesman told The Associated Press on Friday. The closing comes less than a month after its 35th anniversary. It will end with a staggering 13,925 performances.

It is an expensive musical, with lavish sets and costumes, and a large cast and orchestra. Box office receipts have fluctuated since the show reopened after the pandemic — rising to over $1 million a week but also falling to about $850,000. It hit $867,997 last week and the producers may have seen the writing on the wall.

Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with the innocent young soprano Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lush songs include “Masquerade”, “Angel of Music”, “All I Ask of You” and “The Music of the Night”.

“As a producer, you dream of a show going on forever. Indeed, for decades, my production of Andrew’s ‘Cats’ has proudly declared ‘Now and Forever’. But ‘Phantom’ surpassed the show’s extraordinary Broadway run. But all shows eventually close,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement.

The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in 17 languages ​​in over 70,000 performances. On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,500 performances at The Majestic Theater to an audience of 19 million.

The end of “Phantom” would mean that the crown of the longest-running show would go to “Chicago,” which began in 1996. Next up is The Lion King, which began showing in 1997.

Broadway took a hit during the pandemic with all theaters closed for more than 18 months. Some of the most popular shows — “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” and “Wicked” — have recovered well, but other shows have struggled. Breaking even usually requires a steady flow of tourists, particularly for “Phantom,” and visitors to the city have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/phantom-of-the-opera-musical-closing-broadway-nyc/12235749/ ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ musical to close on NYC’s Broadway in 2023 following historic run

Alley Einstein

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