After nearly 35 years of surprising audiences on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera is going to close. The final performance will take place on February 18, when the masked Phantom and the famous falling chandelier will make their final appearance – at least in New York.
The show opened in New York in 1988 and has the longest run in Broadway history. It was also the most profitable in decades to The lionking roared into the city and took that crown.
The Phantom of the Opera has made $1.30 billion during his impressive Broadway run, according to the Broadway League, and has played a whopping 13,733 performances with over 19 million tickets sold. Three musical theater legends created it: composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh.
As soon ghost of the opera appeared on the scene in the 1980s, fans and critics couldn’t get enough. The usually stuffy New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote:
“Only a terminal dick would let the avalanche of pre-opening publicity ruin his enjoyment of this show, which usually wants nothing more than to shower the audience with fantasy and fun, and which often succeeds, at any cost.”
But the show has “has struggled to recover since reopening in October 2021 after the pandemic shutdown, losing about $1 million a month.” reports The New York Post. A healthy show brings in about $3 million a week, but Phantom only brought in $800,000.
Twitter has responded with a torrent of sadness and humor.
Phantom closure is sad and scary because a lot of people who work there have been there for decades and some since it started in 1988. God there really is no job security in this area huh. I know they’ve told us repeatedly, but damn. I’m devastated.
— Leah Nanako Winkler (@leahnanako) September 16, 2022
Wow! the news that the ghost is closing on broadway traveled fast! pic.twitter.com/cs004juvCQ
— Brian (@WeActuallyDidIt) September 16, 2022
I don’t care how many people on social media say it’s true – I will NOT be the last Christine when PHANTOM closes.
— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) September 16, 2022