The Phantom of the Opera is setting sail from Broadway after historical run

New York, New York — The music of the night will soon play its final refrain.

The Phantom of the Opera has become a staple of Broadway and New York City itself, welcoming an estimated 19 million visitors at the Majestic Theatre for the past 35 years.
The Phantom of the Opera has become a staple of Broadway and New York City itself, welcoming an estimated 19 million visitors at the Majestic Theatre for the past 35 years.  © SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Broadway's longest-running show ever, The Phantom of the Opera, is closing. It will reportedly play its final show at the Majestic Theatre on February 18, 2023.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famed musical about love, a mysterious masked leading man, and a spectacular chandelier drop opened in NYC on January 26, 1988, two years after making its mark on London’s West End.

The Broadway show will shutter just after celebrating its 35th anniversary on the Great White Way, playing more than 13,000 performances.

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The show’s cast, musicians, and crew were reportedly informed of the decision on Friday. A request for comment from producers wasn’t immediately answered Friday afternoon, and the show has not made an official statement.

A source told TAG24 NEWS the closing notice wasn't completely unexpected, as the show had seemingly been upping their online presence in recent weeks, perhaps hoping for a boost in ticket sales.

The news was met with an outpouring of sadness throughout the theater community.

Two former stars of the show, Sierra Boggess and Norm Lewis, the first Black actor to perform the title role on Broadway, posted a clip commiserating over the closing together on Friday night.

"We are currently eating our feelings because Phantom is closing," Boggess said.

"What the hell is happening to our universe?" Lewis added.

"Hard to find the words," Boggess wrote in another post. "The show that changed my life and so many of our lives."

Phantom of the Opera had a longstanding connection to Queen Elizabeth II

Actors from the musical The Phantom of the Opera perform at the Platinum Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace in June in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.
Actors from the musical The Phantom of the Opera perform at the Platinum Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace in June in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.  © ALASTAIR GRANT / POOL / AFP

The Phantom of the Opera is one of the most famous musicals worldwide, having been produced in at least 17 languages and 41 countries. It took home seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards. The show is affectionately known as simply "Phantom" and recognizable by its singular white mask emblem.

An outpouring of theater fans on Twitter touted the legacy of the show after the news of its shutting its doors.

"I cannot imagine a world without the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway," a fan wrote. "It will literally be the end of the world as we know it."

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Some pointed out that the passing of Queen Elizabeth II within the same week "must be related."

"Phantom of the Opera closing and the Queen of England dying within one week of each other is absolutely wild," one fan wrote.

"This is the theater world’s equivalent of the queen’s death," wrote another.

The British show has a long connection to the queen, playing on London's West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre, named for the monarch. Actors from the musical performed at the queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration at Buckingham Palace in June.

Tickets were listed as still available in London through March 4, 2023. It is unclear whether the show will continue to play across the pond long after its New York closing.

Webber, whose company owns the theater, confirmed last week that Phantom's theater will now change its name to His Majesty’s Theatre to honor the new King Charles III.

The Phantom of the Opera has become a staple of Broadway and New York City itself, welcoming an estimated 19 million visitors and tourists at the Majestic Theatre on West 44th Street throughout the past 35 years.

The Phantom of the Opera and the Majestic Theatre were victim to the complete Broadway shutdown for over a year during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Phantom of the Opera and the Majestic Theatre were victim to the complete Broadway shutdown for over a year during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.  © TAG24 / Lena Grotticelli

Chicago, the second-longest running musical currently on Broadway, will have to continue its run for another eight years to surpass Phantom's record.

Cover photo: SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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