“The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running show in Broadway history, will stage its last performance on Broadway in February 2023, KTLA sister station WPIX reports.
The musical has scheduled its final performance at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre on Feb. 18, just a few weeks after the show celebrates its 35th anniversary on Broadway on Jan. 26, a spokesperson said.
“The Phantom of the Opera” had been the largest single-generator of income and jobs on Broadway, employing more than 6,000 people over the years, including 450 actors.
“Phantom” originally opened in London in 1986 and has since been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities (and 17 languages) over 70,000 performances.
Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, “The Phantom of the Opera” tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with Christine, a young soprano. Webber’s celebrated songs from the musical include “Masquerade,” ″Angel of Music,” ″All I Ask of You” and “The Music of the Night.”
Enjoying a successful run in NYC since 1988, the production of “Phantom” — along with the rest of Broadway’s productions — had paused amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The musical reopened last October after 18 months to much fanfare and excitement from fans. However, the weakened tourist climate sounded its death knell.
On Broadway alone, the musical has been performed more than 13,500 times and played to more than 19 million people at The Majestic Theatre.
With lyrics written by musical theatre giant Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Phantom” has also enjoyed long life off-Broadway. The show was adapted for the big screen in 2004 with a film of the same name. Directed by Joel Schumacher (“Batman Forever,” “Flatliners”) it starred Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum as the Phantom and Christine, respectively. The adaptation included a brand-new song written by Webber called “Learn to Be Lonely,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite its critical acclaim, the song was never added to the stage production, however.
The Venetian resort in Las Vegas opened “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular,” in 2006, which featured elaborate special effects and technology, including a giant chandelier that was able to reassemble in midair. The Venetian built the theatre specifically for the show, at a cost of around $40 million. While it was generally successful — playing to “millions” of people over six years — the show closed in 2012 after 2,691 performances.
In 2010, Webber’s ‘Phantom’ sequel, “Love Never Dies,” opened in London’s West End, though it was never well-received and has yet to debut on Broadway. The show, loosely based on Frederick Forsyth’s 1999 novel “The Phantom of Manhattan,” picks up a decade later and reunites Christine and the Phantom in New York’s Coney Island. The polarizing show was slated to tour in several countries as recently as 2020, though the outing was derailed by COVID-19-related closures.
A live recording of “Love Never Dies” is widely available to stream, if you can’t get enough “Phantom,” however.