Curtains Close on Final ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Broadway Show After 35 Years
After 35 years, the curtains have closed on Broadway’s longest-running musical. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera ran its final show on Sunday evening at the Majestic Theatre in New York City, marking its 13,981 performance. It was originally scheduled to close in February but received an extension through April 16.
“The one question I keep getting asked again and again — will the Phantom return? Having been a producer for over 55 years, I’ve seen all the great musicals return, and ‘Phantom’ is one of the greatest,” producer Cameron Mackintosh told the audience, according to Associated Press. “So it’s only a matter of time.”
Webber was particularly emotional, taking the stage in an all-black suit ensemble to dedicate the show to his son Nick, who died last month at 43. Speaking to the audience, he recalled: “When he was a little boy, he heard some of this music.”
Sarah Brightman, the show’s original star, added: “When Andrew was writing it, he was right there. So his son is with us. Nick, we love you very much.”
Brightman returned to the stage at the conclusion of the show for a reprise of “The Music of the Night” alongside the current cast and crew members, as well as other former actors from the show’s decades-long run. Bidding the production farewell, gold and silver confetti poured down from its iconic chandelier.
In 2018, Webber released his memoir Unmasked, which followed his life through the opening of Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End in 1986, just short of two years before it would open on Broadway on January 26, 1988.
“It was a very good place to stop, and I didn’t really want to go on,” Webber told Rolling Stone in 2018. “I’m not somebody who likes to write slightly more unpleasant things. When things are not going too well, which they didn’t for me for a bit, and you see new sides of one or two people – I didn’t want to write about that. There are a lot of things that I don’t feel I ever want to write about. Somebody rather brilliant said that since I’d turned the corner somewhat in the last three years, ‘Why don’t you write a Volume Three and put Volume Two in a safe?’ [Laughs]. I’m not the kind of person who wants to write some of the things I know, and I do know a few things.”
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