Phantom of the Opera To Close On Broadway After Record Breaking Run

Phantom of the Opera To Close On Broadway After Record Breaking Run

Emeline Seery, Entertainment Editor

On September 16, 2022 it was announced that Phantom of the Opera is to close on Broadway after a record breaking 34 year run. Its final show will be on February 18, 2023. 


Phantom of the Opera has been a wildly successful musical since it first opened on the West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre on October 9, 1986. It performed a staggering 13, 629 shows before closing on March 14, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It reopened in late summer of 2021, at a downscaled size with changes to the original costumes, choreography, and set design. 


On January 25, 1988, Phantom opened on Broadway, at the Majestic Theatre. Since then, it has performed 13,797 shows, and is the longest running musical in Broadway history, having been running for 34 years. In mid- September of 2022, it was announced that Phantom would be closing its curtains for the last time on February 18, 2023. However, there is speculation based on comments made by creator Cameron Mackintosh that the downscaled West End 2021 version of the show may be coming to broadway sometime soon. 


Spoilers Ahead!


Based on Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name, the musical opens to an auction of an old opera house. The next item to be auctioned is a chandelier that is supposedly linked to the old mystery of the “Phantom of the Opera”. The chandelier is turned on, and the show transitions back in time to when the opera house was at its full grandeur. The musical then follows the path of up and coming singer Christine Daaé, the deformed Phantom who lives beneath the opera house, and Raoul, an opera patron and childhood friend of Christines’. Throughout the performance, the Phantom repeatedly tries to sabotage other singers, and murders multiple Opera personnel in attempts to propel Christine’s career further into the spotlight. At the same time, Christine is falling in love with Raoul. Christine eventually rejects the Phantom’s efforts and advances, choosing instead to become engaged to Raoul. This embitters the Phantom, and he “declares war” on both Christine and Raoul. In the climax of the musical, the Phantom kidnaps Chrisitne, dragging her beneath the opera house. Raoul follows, and he and Christine manage to escape the Phantom’s clutches. At the very end of the show, an angry mob hunts down the Phantom beneath the opera house, but only finds his mask, as the curtains drop. 


In addition to the closure of Phantom of the Opera, multiple other popular Broadway musicals have announced closing dates in the past few months. Beetlejuice will be hosting its final performance on January 8, 2023, as will the revival of Into the Woods. Dear Evan Hansen closed on September 18, 2022. These closures have been mainly caused by lowered ticket sales after the COVID- 19 closures that shut down Broadway for over a year. Many shows have not been able to gain back pre- Covid attendance levels, leaving many fans anxious about the continued survival of their favorite shows. 


Regardless of its post- Covid attendance levels, Phantom of the Opera is a cornerstone of Broadway, and it will be sorely missed by many fans around the world. It had an inspiring 34 year run, and its name will forever be synonymous with classic Broadway. We’ll miss you, Phantom.