“the Phantom of the Opera” – Broadway’s longest-running show – set to close in February 2023, is the biggest victim of a post-pandemic slowdown in theater attendance in New York.
musical – but a fixture Broadway Since 1988, the weathering recession, war and cultural change — will make its final appearance on Broadway on February 18, a spokesperson told the Associated Press on Friday. It will conclude less than a month after its 35th anniversary. It will culminate with 13,925 performances.
It is an expensive musical to maintain with elaborate sets and costumes, as well as a large cast and orchestra. Box office earnings have fluctuated since the show’s reopening after the pandemic — raking in more than $1 million a week, but has also dropped to nearly $850,000. Last week, it peaked at $867,997 and the makers must have seen the writing on the wall.
Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells the story of a perverted musician who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s gorgeous songs include “Masquerade,” “Angel of Music,” “All I Ask of You” and “The Music of the Night.”
“As a producer you dream that a show will go on forever. Indeed, my production of Andrew’s ‘Cats’ has been declared ‘now and forever’ for decades. Yet “Phantom” has surpassed that show’s extraordinary Broadway run. But all shows eventually stop,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement.
The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been viewed by over 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in over 70,000 performances in 17 languages. On Broadway alone, the musical at The Majestic Theater has produced more than 13,500 performances for 19 million people.
The closure of “Phantom” would mean “Chicago” will be crowned the longest-running show, which debuted in 1996. “The Lion King” is the next after he began performing in 1997.
Broadway took a swift turn during the pandemic, with all theaters closed for more than 18 months. Some of the most popular shows — “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” — have made good comebacks, but other shows have struggled. Breaking Even usually requires a steady stream of tourists, particularly “phantoms” and visitors to the city have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.