After nearly 35 years of wowing audiences on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera closes. The final performance is on February 18, when the masked phantom and famous falling chandelier make their final appearances — at least in New York.
The show opened in New York in 1988 and had the longest run in Broadway history. It was also the most profitable for decades up The Lion King roared into the city and took this crown.
The Phantom of the Opera made $1.30 billion during his stunning Broadway performance, after the Broadway League, and has played an amazing 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 Phantom of the opera came on the scene in the 1980s, Fans and critics couldn’t get enough. The mostly stuffy New York Times theatre Critic Frank Rich wrote:
“Only a terminal Prigant would let the avalanche of pre-opening publicity poison the enjoyment of this show, which usually seeks nothing more than to shower audiences with imagination and fun, and which often succeeds at any cost.”
But the show “has been struggling to recover since it reopened in October 2021 following the pandemic shutdown and is losing about $1 million a month.” reports the New York Post. A healthy show brings in about $3 million a week, but Phantom only brings in $800,000.
Twitter has responded with a burst of sadness and humor.
Phantom Closing is sad and scary as a lot of the people who work there have been there for decades and some since the early days in 1988. God there really is no job security in this field huh. I know they told us repeatedly but damn it. I’m devastated for her.
— Leah Nanako Winkler (@leahnako) 09/16/2022
Impressive! News of Phantom closing Broadway spread fast! pic.twitter.com/cs004juvCQ
— Brian (@WeActuallyDidIt) 09/16/2022
I don’t care how many people on social media say it’s true – I will NOT be the last Christine when PHANTOM ends.
— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) 09/16/2022