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Actors portraying the Phantom of the Opera show.
Photograph: By Matthew Murphy / Courtesy of The Phantom of the Opera

'Phantom of the Opera' is closing on Broadway

Broadway's longest-running show is scheduled to close in February 2023.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Adam Feldman
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Contributor
Adam Feldman
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The Broadway show The Phantom of the Opera will close after 35 years, the theater company confirmed this weekend, with its final shows set for Valentine’s Week 2023. 

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 on Saturday, February 18 with its colossal 13,925th show, 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."

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.

Actors portraying the Phantom of the Opera show.
Photograph: By Matthew Murphy / Courtesy of The Phantom of the Opera

Get tickets

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. Ticket prices range from $29–$169, with premium tickets also available. To order tickets and for holiday schedules, visit www.Telecharge.com or call 212.239.6200.

The on-sale date for tickets for the final four weeks of performances—including the 35th Anniversary, Valentine’s Day and the final performance—as well as details on all celebrations, will be announced later.

'One of the first musicals to shake my soul into loving theatre'

The news sent Twitter abuzz with reactions like ... 

Actors portraying the Phantom of the Opera show.
Photograph: By Matthew Murphy / Courtesy of The Phantom of the Opera

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."

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