The chandelier is crashing for good. In what's undeniably the end of an era, The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running Broadway show of all time, has announced that it will close early next year. After commemorating its 35th anniversary in January, the show will hold its final performance on February 18, 2023.
The closure reportedly stems from the show's failure to make enough ticket sales to cover its costs, an issue exacerbated by Broadway's nearly year and a half-long closure from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that audiences have been slow to return to in-person performances since the lifting of pandemic-related mandates.
Based on the 1909 gothic horror novel by Gaston Leroux about a mask-wearing figure who plagues a Paris opera house in his obsession for a brilliant young soprano, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned show originally debuted in London in 1986. It came to Broadway two years later, garnering 7 Tony awards, including Best Musical. Since then, the show has been seen by 19.8 million people, grossing approximately $1.3 billion, according to figures compiled by The Broadway League. It has since premiered in 183 cities around the world and has been performed in 17 languages.
While the NYC production will be closing, the musical will continue to run elsewhere. Both London and Sydney currently have ongoing performances, with another set to open in China next year, according to the New York Times. The Chinese production will mark the first run of the show in Mandarin; a Spanish-language production is also reportedly in development.
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