Another Milestone for Phantom of the Opera: 29 Years on Broadway
By: Ellis Nassour
Andrew Lloyd Webber is having quite a theater season. It’s nothing new to him. This season, however, is quite special. With his newest show, School of Rock, written with Glen Slater and book adapted from the film by, he’s going to have four musicals on Broadway. A new production of Tony-winning Best Musical Cats has returned for its first revival since closing in September 2000 after 7, 485 performances over 18 years.
Sunset Boulevard, a 1995 Tony winner for Best Musical [in a season when its only rival was the juke box revue Smokey Joe’s Café] with lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton , returns February 9for its first revival with its original star, Glenn Close. It closed in 1997 after nearly two-and-a-half years and close to a thousand performances.
But remember when Cats’ catch phrase was Now and Forever? It seems that should have been saved for the grand dame of Lloyd Webber musicals, Tony winning Best Musical Phantom of the Opera, which opened here, January 26, 1988 with lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), after its acclaimed October, 1986 opening on the West End.
POTO, produced by Cameron MacKintosh and Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company, became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 with its 7,486th performance, surpassing the record held by Cat. There was quite the celebration when it hit 25 years in January, 2013.
Now, with an unprecedented 12,070 performances under its belt, it’s celebrating 29 years and set to break another record next January.
It has nine years and over 4,000 performances over Broadway’s second longest-running show, the 1996 Tony-winning revival of Kander and Ebb and Bob Fosse’s Chicago — Broadway’s longest-running revival with 8,395 performances.
It’s been breaking records since Cats, then the longest-running musical in Broadway history, closed. A few days ago, it capped another milestone for the history books: 29 years – still with no end in sight.
One of a handful of the most successful stage productions of all-time, POTO has played here to 17 million plus and grossed more than a billion dollars.
The Phantom Of The Opera – Theme Song – YouTube
James Barbour continues in the title role, alongside Ali Ewoldt as Christine Daaé, Kyle Barisich as Raoul, Michele McConnell as Carlotta, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, and Kara Klein as Meg Giry.
Phantom of the Opera is directed by Tony winner Hal Prince (Tony, Drama Desk), with dazzling set and costume design by the late Maria Björnson (Tony), musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne (Tony, DD nominee). DD-nominated orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Worldwide, a staggering 140 million people in 35 countries and 15 languages have experienced POTO. In December, the West End production not only celebrated its 30th Anniversary, but surpassed 12,500 performances.
There are six current productions of Phantom around the world: London, New York, Sapporo (Japan), Budapest, Prague, and Stockholm — with an engagement to begin in August in Sweden.