AP

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ to close on Broadway next year

Sep 16, 2022, 2:23 AM | Updated: 3:34 pm

FILE - A poster advertising "The Phantom of the Opera," is displayed on the shuttered Majestic Thea...

FILE - A poster advertising "The Phantom of the Opera," is displayed on the shuttered Majestic Theatre in New York, March 12, 2020. Broadway's longest-running show will play its final performance on Broadway on Feb. 18, 2023, a spokesperson told The Associated Press on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. The closing will come less than a month after its 35th anniversary. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — “The Phantom of the Opera” — Broadway’s longest-running show — is scheduled to close in February 2023, the biggest victim yet of the post-pandemic softening in theater attendance in New York.

The musical — a fixture on Broadway since 1988, weathering recessions, war and cultural shifts — will play its final performance on Broadway on Feb. 18, a spokesperson told The Associated Press on Friday. The closing will come less than a month after its 35th anniversary. It will conclude with an eye-popping 13,925 performances.

It is a costly musical to sustain, with elaborate sets and costumes as well as a large cast and orchestra. Box office grosses have fluctuated since the show reopened after the pandemic — going as high as over $1 million a week but also dropping to around $850,000. Last week, it hit $867,997 and producers may have seen the writing on the wall.

Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lavish songs include “Masquerade,” ´´Angel of Music,” ´´All I Ask of You” and “The Music of the Night.”

“As a producer you dream that a show will run forever. Indeed, my production of Andrew’s ‘Cats’ proudly declared for decades ‘Now and Forever.’ Yet ‘Phantom’ has surpassed that show’s extraordinary Broadway run. But all shows do finally close,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement.

The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in 17 languages over 70,000 performances. On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,500 performances to 19 million people at The Majestic Theatre.

The closing of “Phantom” would mean the longest running show crown would go to “Chicago,” which started in 1996. “The Lion King” is next, having begun performances in 1997.

Broadway took a pounding during the pandemic, with all theaters closed for more than 18 months. Some of the most popular shows — “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” — have rebounded well, but other shows have struggled. Breaking even usually requires a steady stream of tourists, especially for “Phantom” and visitors to the city haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel.

11 hours ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

BREAKING: White House confirms Iran drone attacks towards Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — The White House says it will provide unspecified support for Israel’s defense against an ongoing airborne attack from Iran. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a Saturday statement that “Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel.” She added: “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and […]

11 hours ago

Image: O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center July 20, 2017 in Lov...

Associated Press

O.J. Simpson, fallen football hero acquitted of murder in ‘trial of the century,’ dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his ex-wife and her friend has died at 76.

3 days ago

Southwest Airlines boeing...

Associated Press

An engine cover on a Southwest Airlines plane rips off, forcing the flight to return to Denver

A Southwest Airlines jet, a Boeing 737, returned to Denver Sunday morning after the engine cover fell off and struck the wing flap during takeoff.

6 days ago

Image: The late Careaga family....

Associated Press

3 found guilty in 2017 quadruple killing of Washington family

A jury has found three men guilty of killing a family in Washington in 2017, crimes detectives asserted happened over drugs and money.

8 days ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing’s CEO got compensation worth nearly $33M last year but lost a $3M bonus

Boeing's CEO got around $33 million in compensation, nearly all of it in stock awards, but his stock payout for this year will be cut.

8 days ago

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ to close on Broadway next year