‘The Phantom of the Opera’, the longest-running show in Broadway history, will end after 35 years.
The legendary show will celebrate its birthday in January and then bid farewell with a final performance Feb. 18 at the Majestic Theater on Broadway, a spokesperson for the show said.
The show will end with a breathtaking 13,925 performances.
It’s an expensive musical to maintain, with elaborate sets and costumes as well as a large cast and orchestra. Box office receipts have fluctuated since the show reopened after the pandemic — hitting more than $1 million a week, but also dropping to around $850,000. Last week it hit $867,997 and the producers may have seen the writing on the wall.
Created by three musical theater legends – composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh – ‘Phantom’ premiered in London’s West End in October 1986 before opening on Broadway on January 26, 1988.
“As a producer, you dream of a series lasting forever. Indeed, my production of Andrew’s ‘Cats’ has for decades proudly declared ‘Now and Forever’. Yet ‘Phantom’ has surpassed the extraordinary run Broadway of this show. But all the shows eventually end,” Mackintosh said in a statement.
Based on the 1910 French novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells the story of a mysterious masked opera-goer who haunts the Paris Opera and becomes obsessed with a young and beautiful soprano.
Closing ‘Phantom’ would mean the longest show crown would go to ‘Chicago’, which started in 1996. ‘The Lion King’ is next, having started performances in 1997.
Although “Phantom” is fading from Broadway, the musical, which has played in 183 cities around the world, is still going strong in other parts of the globe.
The London production, which closed at the height of the pandemic in 2020, is back with a smaller orchestra and other changes to help cut costs.
A new production was launched last month in Australia and the first Mandarin production is expected to open in China next year.