The Broadway show The Phantom of the Opera will soon close after 35 years, but the curtain will stay open a bit longer than expected. The closure date was originally set for Valentine's Week 2023, but now the theater plans to delay the closing until April 16, 2023 because ticket sales are booming, the New York Times reported today.
As Broadway’s longest-running show, Phantom has delighted audiences with more than 13,500 performances since it opened on January 26, 1988. Before it closes, it’ll celebrate its 35th anniversary. The show has played at the resplendent Majestic Theater since the beginning of its run.
'As much a part of the city landscape as the Empire State Building'
"As much a part of the city landscape as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, the blockbuster phenomenon has long been a New York City landmark," the show wrote in its closure news release. "Widely considered one of the most beautiful and spectacular productions in history, the musical set the bar with its lavish sets and costumes, large cast and Broadway’s largest orchestra—a perfect match for its sumptuous score and classic love story."
The closure announcement says that leaders decided the right time to close Phantom would be after its 35th birthday; the New York Post, which broke news of the closing on Friday, said the show has struggled since the pandemic and is losing "some $1 million a month."
But now, as the Times reported, Phantom's ticket sales are once again thriving: Last week, the show grossed $2.2 million bolstered by Thanksgiving travelers.
During Phantom's run, it shattered every possible record, surpassing the nearly 18-year run of Cats, grossing $1.3 billion, sharing the show with 19.5 million people, and serving as the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history. Phantom made a major impact outside of New York City, too. It inspired theaters and opera houses to stage the show, and it still runs around the world.
Phantom currently plays Monday and Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm. Beginning January 2, 2023, the musical will return to its original playing schedule: Monday through Saturday at 8pm with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm. To order tickets and for holiday schedules, click here.
'One of the first musicals to shake my soul into loving theatre'
News of the closure set Twitter abuzz with reactions like ...
What does the Biden administration plan on doing about the Phantom of the Opera closing rumors— Andrew (@andrewgirmann) September 16, 2022
I don't want a world where The Simpsons outlives The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway— Tee Moe Tay Shall O May (@joelevard) September 16, 2022
In all seriously, I know we all joke about Phantom of the Opera, but that was one of the first musicals to shake my soul into loving theatre as much as I do. So…yeah if it closes, and as SOON as we got a Black Christine??…I’d be sad.— Virginia Vass (@virginia_vass) September 16, 2022
NY POST: A source tells us The Phantom of the Opera will close this year— Zach Raffio (@zachraffio) September 16, 2022
THE SOURCE: pic.twitter.com/Rk91bZjwqn
About the show
Just in case you're not familiar with the show, here's a review from our theater critic:
"More than three decades into its Broadway run, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera continues to draw tourists to its candlelit lair. The plot, borrowed from a 1910 potboiler by Gaston Leroux, tells of Christine Daaé, a naïve young soprano whose secretive voice teacher turns out to be a deformed musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. (Although the Phantom is serial killer, extortionist, kidnapper and probable rapist, Christine and audiences are mysteriously drawn to him. Who doesn’t love a bad boy?)
"While the epic synth-rock chords of the title song may ground Phantom in the 1980s, the show’s Puccini-inflected airs are far grander than most of what one hears elsewhere on Broadway. And although there may not be much depth to the musical’s story (by Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe) or lyrics (mostly by Charles Hart), the production—directed by Hal Prince—has been carefully maintained and refurbished over the years, and remains a marvel of sumptuous surfaces."