New York City Says Goodbye To The Longest Running Musical On Broadway
After 35 years and over 13,000 shows, the Phantom of the Opera ran for the last time on Broadway on April 16, 2023.
It’s the end of an era for one of Broadway’s most beloved shows. The Phantom of the Opera, the iconic musical that has captured the hearts of millions for almost 35 years, is coming to a close this weekend at the Majestic Theatre, according to ABC 7. The show, composed by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, first graced the Broadway stage back in 1988 and has since become the longest-running production in the history of New York City’s theatrical arts.
And it’s not just a fan favorite—The Phantom of the Opera has won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical in its opening year. The show has been seen by nearly two million people and grossed an astounding $1.3 billion, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time. Additionally, the musical was adapted into a movie starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum that grossed $154.6 million at the box office and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
To honor Webber’s incredible contributions to Broadway (which are numerous without even including the record-breaking Phantom of the Opera), Mayor Eric Adams presented the composer with a key to the city of New York, the “greatest city on the globe,” according to the mayor. Adams praised Webber for his immense impact on Broadway, saying that he “keeps the lights on in our hearts as we keep the lights on on Broadway.”
In response to the mayor’s praise of The Phantom of the Opera, Webber expressed his gratitude, saying, “I felt very much a part of the community even though I am British, but I still feel this is the home of musicals and where I want to be, so I’d just like to say thank you, thank you, very, very much. It’s something that means a great deal to me.”
Webber himself is widely regarded as one of the most successful composers in the history of musical theater. With 23 Tony Award nominations (seven of which were awarded to Phantom of the Opera) and six wins under his belt, he’s a true superstar. He won an Oscar in 1996 for “You Must Love Me” from Evita and has over a dozen Grammy Award nominations and three wins. In 2018, Webber achieved EGOT status (the most coveted of all award statuses, meaning that he won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award) for his role as Executive Producer of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.
That same year, he was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.
But don’t worry, folks—the end of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway isn’t the end of the road for Webber. The 75-year-old composer is currently in the process of composing a once-in-a-lifetime piece—the anthem for the Coronation of King Charles III, and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
All good things must come to an end, and The Phantom of the Opera’s final show will take place this Sunday at 5 p.m. We’ll be saying goodbye to one of Broadway’s most iconic productions, but Webber’s legacy and influence on the world of theater will undoubtedly continue.
For a composer like Webber, there is no such thing as retirement, so we are sure we’ll be enjoying more musicals inspired by his creative genius sometime soon. While it might be hard to top a show like The Phantom of the Opera, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next!