Say it ain’t so! Famed musical The Phantom of the Opera will be closing its doors, according to a source with The New York Times. Despite Andrew LLoyd Webber’s incredibly popular production being the longest-running show on Broadway, plans are in place for the final bow at the Majestic Theatre to happen on February 18, 2023, following a 35th anniversary celebratory bash.
As for the reason of the last curtain call, the sources said the show has been struggling to recover since reopening in October 2021 following a closure caused by the pandemic. Even with Webber himself DJing at the reopening, by winter, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus surged and caused the box office to drop off once again.
The musical is widely considered one of the most spectacular productions to ever hit the Great White Way. Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, the show features music by Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and book by Richard Stilgoe and Webber. The meeting of those ingenious minds came up with such classics as “The Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” “Masquerade” and the iconic title song.
The show follows the story of a disfigured musical genius who haunts the The Paris Opera House and is known only as “The Phantom.” He soon falls for the ingenue soprano Christine, whom he begins to tutor. Christine’s love for another causes mayhem — including the set’s chandelier to come come crashing down — as a climatic finale awaits the audience.
On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,000 performances to 19 million people at The Majestic Theatre. Altogether, The Phantom of the Opera has played to over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages for more than 70,000 performances.
The Broadway version of the London-originated show won seven Tony Awards after opening in 1988, including Best Musical. The original Broadway cast featured Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Judy Kaye, and the late Steve Barton. The cast is currently led by Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Emilie Kouatchou as Christine.