The longest-running production in Broadway history will come to an end. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera has a set a closing date of February 18, 2023. The closing will follow just a few weeks after the show’s 35th anniversary at the Majestic Theatre.
“You don’t want to run a great show into the ground,” Phantom producer Cameron Mackintosh explained in an interview with The New York Times. “There’s an art to closing a show, as well as opening one.”
Mackintosh said Phantom‘s running costs had risen to $950,000 since its post-pandemic re-opening, about $100,000 more than pre-Covid, and that the show is losing money most weeks due to a downturn in international tourism.
The show first began Broadway previews at the Majestic on January 9, 1988 and opened on January 26, 1988 starring Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton. It has played an unprecedented more than 13,000 performances.
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and a book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The production also features musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, scenic and costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge, and sound design by Martin Levan with Caddick as music director. Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group serve as producers. The late Harold Prince directed.
Phantom has played to over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages for more than 70,000 performances. It has won more than 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards.
The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history January 9, 2006, when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of Cats. The production’s nearly 14,000 performances have been seen by 19.5 million people and grossed $1.3 billion. Phantom has been the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history. In the New York production alone, an estimated 6,500 people (including 450 actors) have been employed during its more than three-decade run.