PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Hits 9000 Performances on September 16
The longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is set to reach another unprecedented milestone. With its 8PM evening performance on Thursday, September 17, 2009, the musical will become the first Broadway show ever to reach 9,000 performances. The occasion will be marked the previous afternoon, Wednesday, September 16, with a special presentation during the 2PM matinee's curtain call. The post-show presentation promises a few on stage surprises for that day's audience. Now in its phenomenal 22nd Year, the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. production, directed by Harold Prince, continues to play at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street), with no end in sight.
On Broadway, since its debut on January 26, 1988, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed $740 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. Total attendance is over 13 million. Its international success - equally staggering - is represented by total worldwide grosses estimated at over $5 billion. This colossal figure makes PHANTOM the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world's highest-grossing film Titanic (at $1.2 billion) and such other blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Worldwide, over 65,000 performances have been seen by 100 million people in 27 countries and 144 cities.
Since becoming the longest-running show in Broadway history in 2006 (when it surpassed the then-record run of Cats), every performance has set a new longevity record. The show has always been a record-breaker, with the New York production setting benchmarks that have dominated the industry: for capitalization (a then-spectacular $8 million), total advance (a then-colossal $18 million), total gross and attendance (now a whopping $740 million and 13 million, and counting) and even the number of years before a single ticket was ever sold at the TKTS ticket booth in Times Square (over 14 years, which is still the record, by a long shot). It was also the first and remains the only Broadway show to reach 18, 19, 20 and 21 Years, as well as 8,000 performances - and now continues its long tradition of shattering records by becoming the first show ever to play 9,000 performances.
In addition to PHANTOM's amazing longevity and continued box office success, the Broadway production continues to consistently earn rave reviews from returning critics. This month, veteran critic John Simon of Bloomberg News gave it "Do Not Miss" status by giving it FOUR STARS, raving "PHANTOM is still the king of romance and chills! Looming like Everest, it is deservedly Broadway's longest-running musical. With cunning direction, lavish sets and costumes and dramatic lighting, the visual opulence immediately grips you and sustains its hold. Even after more than two decades, PHANTOM shows no evidence of wear, thanks to successively fine casting."
The Broadway production is the winner of 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
There are currently ten productions around the world: London, New York, Budapest (Hungary), Nagoya (Japan), Warsaw (Poland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Seoul (Korea), Buenos Aires (Argentina), the U.S. National Tour and a revised production in Las Vegas at The Venetian.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber earlier this year confirmed that he has greenlit pre-production on a sequel to the show, Phantom: Love Never Dies.
Based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath The catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA stars John Cudia in the title role with Jennifer Hope Wills as Christine and Ryan Silverman as Raoul. The musical also co-stars George Lee Andrews (Monsieur Andre), David Cryer (Monsieur Firmin), Patricia Phillips (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Evan Harrington (Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine. Mr. Andrews has been with the production for its entire run and in 2006 was recognized by Guinness World Records as the inaugural record-holder for the performer with the longest time in the same Broadway show - a record he still holds and continues to add to with each performance.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has production design by the late Maria Bjornson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The performance schedule for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is Monday evenings at 8 PM, Tuesday evenings at 7PM, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM. Ticket prices range from $26.50 - $121.50 with Premium Tickets also available. To order tickets visit telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200.