On March 12, 2020, a poster advertising “The Phantom of the Opera”, was displayed at the Majestic Theatre in New York. The Broadway’s longest-running musical is set to end in February 2023.
NEW YORK — The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest-running musical, will close February 2023. This is the largest victim of the post-pandemic decline in New York theater attendance.
The Broadway musical, which has been a Broadway staple since 1988, will be closing its doors on February 18, according to a spokesperson for The Associated Press. It will close less than one month after the 35th anniversary.
The musical is expensive to maintain, as it features elaborate costumes and sets as well as an orchestra and large cast. Since the pandemic, box office gross have fluctuated. They went up to over $1 million per week and then dropped to $850,000. Producers may have noticed the signs. Last week it reached $867,997.
Based on Gaston Leroux’s novel, “Phantom”, tells the story about a mad, deformed composer who haunts Paris Opera House and falls madly for a young, innocent soprano named Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s extravagant songs include “Masquerade,” “Angel of Music,” “All I Ask You” and “The Music of the Night.”
In 1986, London opened the first production. Since then, more than 145,000,000 people have seen the show in 183 cities. The show has also been performed in 17 languages and over 70,000 performances. The musical has been seen by more than 135,000 people on Broadway, and 19 million at The Majestic Theatre.
The closure of “Phantom”, would mean that the longest-running show title would go to “Chicago,” which began in 1996. The Lion King is the next show, having started performances in 1997.
Broadway was hit hard by the pandemic. All theaters were closed for 18 months. A steady stream of tourists is necessary to break even, especially in the case of “Phantom.”