The Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, will become the second longest running production in Broadway history when it plays its milestone 6,681st performance on Wednesday evening, 4th February at The Majestic Theater (247 West 44th Street). The musical will surpass the 16-year and 6,680-performance run of Les Misérables, which is currently second longest-running.
The most successful stage musical of all time, The Phantom of the Opera has worldwide ticket sales exceeding $3.2 billion (far surpassing the highest-grossing film of all time, Titanic, which has grossed $1.9 billion worldwide) and been seen by over 100 million people. The winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the New York production has been seen by 10 million people and grossed over $530 million.
Already the longest-running show currently playing on Broadway (since May 2003), the New York production will celebrate its 16th Anniversary (on Monday 26th January) and enter its 17th year, with no end in sight. Even 16 years later, and for the last several weeks, the show’s weekly grosses have consistently kept it one of the top ten grossing shows on Broadway.
As of 4th February, there will be only one show ahead of Phantom: Cats, now closed after 18 years and 7,485 performances. As of that date, Andrew Lloyd Webber will have composed the two longest-running shows in Broadway history: Phantom and Cats. Cameron Mackintosh has already produced the three longest-running shows: Phantom, Les Miserables and Cats.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
The Phantom of the Opera stars Hugh Panaro in the title role, with Sandra Joseph as Christine and John Cudia as Raoul. The musical also features Jeff Keller (Firmin), George Lee Andrews (André), Patricia Phillips (Carlotta), Marilyn Caskey (Madame Giry), Larry Wayne Morbitt (Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Julie Hanson plays Christine.
The Phantom of the Opera had its world premiere on 9th October, 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, winning every major British theatre award including the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. The New York production opened on 26th January, 1988 with a then-record advance of $18 million. The musical went on to sweep the 1988 Tony Awards, winning seven, including Best Musical. The Phantom of the Opera also won seven Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. The original London cast recording was the first in British musical history to enter the charts at 1#. It has since gone both gold and platinum in Britain and the US, selling over 25 million copies worldwide.
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The performance schedule for The Phantom of the Opera is Monday and Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm and Tuesday evenings at 7pm with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm. Ticket prices range from $20-$100. Call Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250 or visit The Majestic Theatre box office (247 W. 44th St.).
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