‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Plays It’s Final Performance After 35 Years on Broadway

It's over now, the music of the night. The Phantom of the Opera has played its final performance on Broadway. After a record-breaking 35-year run, the curtain fell on Andrew Lloyd Webber's famed musical on Sunday, April 16. At the time of closing, The Phantom of the Opera was the longest-running Broadway musical, having run for 13,981 performances.

The Phantom of the Opera had haunted the Majestic Theatre since January 26, 1988. Since then, it has been seen by over 20 million people and made over over $1.3 billion. The show originally opened in London's West End in 1986, and after becoming a success, New York audiences were eagerly waiting for it to be transferred to the Great White Way.

Based on the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who roams the Paris Opera House. A musical genius, the phantom falls in love with a young soprano named Christine Daaé. A bloody tale of jealousy and obsession unfolds over a sweeping score written by Webber.

“I think the enduring appeal is because it's so romantic and because audiences escape into it,” said late director Harold Prince for the show's 25th anniversary on Broadway. “It has a world of its own. And whatever problems they have out on the street and in their daily lives, they come in here and it's like a little kid tripping on a fairy tale or something. Only this is a slightly dangerous one. But the point is, I think that they escape from reality for a couple of hours and in a romantic world.”

Sadly, its appeal wasn't enough to keep it afloat. The show relied heavily on international tourism, which has yet to rebound to pre-pandemic numbers. On top of that, inflation and the steep price tag to run the show, which was about a million dollars per week, negatively affected its longevity. Now, the 125 people it took to run the show, including cast, musicians, and crew—some of whom have been with the show for three decades—will have to look for a job in other productions.

Despite the sadness of seeing such an institution end, both performers and fans turned the final performances into a celebration of the Phantom's legacy. Actor Ben Crawford had been scheduled to appear as the title character for the final performance but was sidelined last minute due to a bacterial infection. Since the show must go on, it was actor Laird Mackintosh—who had been with the show for six years and returned to the company to understudy the role in its final months—who was the one to don the mask and the cape for the last time. For the final bows, the cast was joined by the stagehands, who got a well-deserved round of applause—something that doesn't happen in regular Broadway performances. After the final curtain, Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “It’s just amazing, really, what has happened.”

The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway's longest-running musical, played its final performance after a 35-year run.

At the time of closing, The Phantom of the Opera had played 13,981 performances.

Based on the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked musical genius who roams the Paris Opera House.


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Una publicación compartida por Playbill (@playbill)

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h/t: [NPR]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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