“The Phantom of the Opera” wrapped up the longest running run in Broadway history Sunday night with a glittering final performance as the production’s signature chandelier, which just hit the stage at the Majestic Theater for the 13,981st time, got its own curtain call.
The invite-only crowd was packed with Broadway fans, including actors who have performed the show for 35 years, as well as several performing artists (including Lin-Manuel Miranda) and fans who won a special ticket lottery. some dressed as phantom regalia; A man dressed in a fancy red death costume came to the character.
The final performance, which ran from 5:22 to 7:56 p.m., was repeatedly interrupted by applause, not only for the main cast, but also for beloved props, including a monkey jukebox, and scenic items such as a gondola that is paddled through a lake. Underground decorated with candlesticks. After the final curtain, the stagehands who have provided the show’s elaborate spectacle night after night, are invited on stage to a round of thunderous applause.
“It’s really amazing, what happened,” said the composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the programme’s soaring score, after the final curtain, while dedicating the performance to his son Nicholas. He died three weeks ago.
Lloyd Webber spoke alongside his longtime collaborator and lead producer of the show, Cameron Mackintosh. They invited alumni of the original Broadway production to join them on stage, and displayed on the back wall of the theater portraits of deceased members of the original creative team, including its director, Hal Prince, as well as every actor who played the main roles (the Phantom as well as Christine, the young soprano whose obsession ).
Near the end of the evening, Mackintosh acknowledged the one-ton chandelier, which was lowered from the ceiling to a round of applause, the crowd showered with metallic gold and silver confetti, some dangling with ribbons from the chandelier.
Hours before the curtain, fans gathered across the street, waving, taking photos and somehow hoping to score a spare ticket. Among them was Lexi Luhrs, 25, of Washington, in Getting Phantom: a black cape, homemade mask, plus fedora, jacket and tie, plus mask earrings and mask necklace. “I’m here to celebrate a show that means a lot to us,” Luhres said.
On Broadway, “Phantom” was clearly a massive hit, playing with 20 million people and grossing $1.36 billion since its opening in January 1988. The show has become an international phenomenon, being shown in 17 languages in 45 countries and grossing over about $6 billion globally. But the Broadway run eventually succumbed to the dual effects of inflation and dwindling tourism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
It closed on an unexpectedly high note — just not the high E that Kristen sings in the title song. Once the closure was announced last September, sales soared, as those who already loved the music flocked to see it, and the procrastinators realized it might be their last chance; The original February closing date was pushed back by two months to accommodate demand, and the show once again became the highest-grossing Broadway hit, playing to copious audiences, enjoying a polished reputation, and grossing over $3 million a week.
“It’s almost unheard of for a show to turn out so victorious,” Mackintosh said.
After the final performance, the show’s company and alumni gathered for an invitation-only celebration at the Metropolitan Club, with the iconic mask on display on a marble staircase.
The show, with music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart, is still running in London, where the orchestra’s size was cut and the set changed during the pandemic lockdown to reduce running costs, and it’s also currently running in the Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea and Sweden. New production works are scheduled to open in China next month, Italy in July and Spain in October.
Will you return to New York? “Of course, at some point,” Mackintosh said in an interview. “But it’s time for the show to rest.”
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