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The Phantom gala  
Read one Phan's account of the special Broadway performance...
Howard McGillin Phantom curtain call c. Joan Marcus

On 9th January, 2006, The Phantom of the Opera became the longest running show on Broadway.  For those able to see the performance, the whole night was an incredible experience that no one will ever forget. The night started off with everyone mingling in the Majestic’s main lobby. Actors from the show, both past and present, were all over the place: Judy Kaye, Brad Little, Rebecca Luker, Elizabeth Southard, Gary Mauer, Michael Crawford and many others.

The show started off with an announcement by the Phantom: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen you are about to witness the 7,486th performance of The Phantom of the Opera.’ The audience rejoiced with clapping and shouts. At intermission, everyone celebrated with champagne. Everyone in attendance was also given a special program made up for the event, a Playbill with a special cover commemorating the event, and a feathered masquerade mask placed on the seats.

The performance was truly wonderful and breathtaking. Sandra Joseph was incredible as Christine and Howard McGillin played a very haunting Phantom. The audience cheered at various parts of the show: the Overture, the Journey to the Lair, Music of the Night, Masquerade, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, just to name a few. At the end the audience cheered on Howard’s last note and then as Meg (Heather McFadden) went to reach for the cape the audience went silent, as the mask was revealed they began to cheer again.

At curtain call the whole cast came out, then the Phantom went to stand alone on the stage, off to the side.  All of a sudden a ‘cat’ appeared and danced her way towards the Phantom to hand him a baton.  Then past and present Raouls, Christines, and Phantoms came out on the stage. Everyone came together and sang “Masquerade”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber then gave a speech and introduced Harold Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, Gillian Lynne, and Michael Crawford. Cameron thanked Andrew, Harold mentioned that the show has been responsible for the employment of 6,850 people, Gillian mentioned how choreographing Phantom fulfilled a life-long dream she had, and Michael Crawford mentioned that this was the very first time he had seen the show as a member of the audience; stating that it is just as magical seeing it from the seats and it is being on stage. Then with a loud “GO!”, confetti and balloons dropped from the ceiling signifying the beginning of the celebrations.  It was a wonderful end to a magical evening. Congratulations to all those who have made Phantom the longest running show on Broadway!

Caroline Pankonen

Posted on: 11th January 2006

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