Final curtain call: Broadway's 'Phantom of the Opera' ends 35-year run

Final curtain call: Broadway's 'Phantom of the Opera' ends 35-year run
Posted at 7:47 AM, Apr 17, 2023

After captivating audiences for over three decades, Broadway's longest-running show has held its final curtain call. Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical "The Phantom of the Opera" came to a close Sunday night, 35 years after it debuted on the Great White Way.

Lloyd Webber was last to take the stage, dedicating the show to his late son, Nick, who died last month after a battle with cancer. 

The musical has been a Broadway mainstay since it opened in 1988, playing nearly 14,000 shows and grossing an estimated $6 billion during its historical run. Its box office revenues are greater than any film or stage play in history, including "Titanic," "Star Wars" and "Avatar."

The musical, which is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, tells the story of a disfigured musical genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, becoming romantically obsessed with a young soprano. It features Webber's iconic songs such as "Masquerade," "Angel of Music" and "All I Ask of You," which have been heard by over 140 million people in 33 countries worldwide.

The closing of "Phantom of the Opera" marks the end of an era. The show has broken countless records during its run, including being the first Broadway show to gross over $1 billion.

The musical has also been recognized with numerous accolades, including seven Tony Awards, including best musical, best original score and best direction of a musical. It has also been nominated for a Grammy Award for best cast show album.

When the musical debuted in New York, Ronald Reagan was president, the film "Die Hard" had just been released in theaters, and a gallon of gas cost about 91 cents.

The closure will undoubtedly leave a void in the Broadway community, but it also marks the end of an incredible chapter in the history of musical theater.

However, producer Cameron Mackintosh didn't leave fans without some hope for a return.

"Having been a producer for over 55 years, I've seen all the great musicals return, and ‘Phantom’ is one of the greatest,” he said. “So it's only a matter of time.”