By: Jennie Brouse
Broadway’s longest-running musical of all time, “The Phantom of the Opera”, announced recently that the iconic show would be leaving Broadway.
After 35 years of dazzling audiences, the show plans to display its last performance on Feb. 23 of next year.
The Phantom of the Opera follows the story of a disfigured, masked man who becomes infatuated with a young soprano, Christine Daaé in the theater where he dwells. The Phantom lives in the bowels of the Paris Opera House, the theater where the story takes place.
While the show will no longer be available as a Broadway production, “The Phantom of the Opera” will live on in theaters across the country and worldwide, famously residing in Her Majesty’s Theater. In 1986 the West End version opened and still runs the show to this day.
All hope is not lost, the production will still be performed across the world in various theaters, as well as potential traveling productions and community theater opportunities, the show will just no longer be on Broadway.
If you are unfamiliar with the workings of Broadway or how a production on Broadway is played out, the following may be helpful for you.
Broadway is a broad term that refers to a group of theaters located in New York City. There are 41 current theaters where Broadway productions can take place, all with hundreds of seats for large audiences.
The Phantom of the Opera took place in the Majestic Theatre, the same building the production called home for its entire 35-year run, having first opened in 1988 on Broadway. Little is known about what will be taking over the Majestic Theatre after the record-breaking show departs in February.
By the time the show closes, The Phantom of the Opera will have had a record-breaking 13,925 performances.
In its 35-year run, the Phantom of the Opera has won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Most Broadway productions tend to be musicals, but with enough prominence, plays can be seen taking place in Broadway theaters. A play is just a term used for non-musical stage productions, and many people use the term play for both. A musical can be a play but a play cannot always be a musical.
Broadway, alongside London’s West End, represents the highest commercial level of live theater in the English-speaking world.
The term off-broadway refers to theaters in the same vicinity as Broadway level theaters, just with less seating room, not necessarily referring to production value.
While Broadway theaters have been a New York City staple for a very long time now, many shows did not fare well after the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. While many shows found themselves bouncing back with ease after Broadway began to reopen its doors, The Phantom of the Opera found its ticket sales not so favorable. Lack of recent ticket sales are accredited as the main reason the show decided to close its doors.
Tickets can still be found on https://us.thephantomoftheopera.com/ for those looking to see the show before the final performance, but they will be limited.