‘Phantom,’ Broadway’s Longest Running Show, and Popular ‘Music Man’ Revival to Close in 2023

By Jonathan Spira on 17 September 2022
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Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster at a recent performance Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man”

Broadway will look a bit different in the coming year: The chandelier will fall for the last time on Andrew Lloyd Weber’s long-running show “Phantom of the Opera” in early 2023 and the immensely popular revival of “The Music Man” will also close at the start of the new year.

While “Phantom,” the longest-running show in Broadway history, has seemingly been a part of the Theater District landscape forever – it opened in the West End in 1986 and on the Great White Way in 1988 – no show, even “The Fantasticks” – runs forever.

Theatergoers have been slow to return to Broadway and, while the Andrew Lloyd Weber extravaganza had a strong return, Phantom’s producers said that ticket sales have not been sufficient to cover the cost of running the show.

Meanwhile, “The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, will close on January 1 after the show’s producers decided not to recast the leads after the two stars leave the company.

At the time of its closing, the revival will have played 358 regular and 46 preview performances.

When it opened, “Phantom” starred Michael Crawford as the Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine Daaé.

The show’s prologue takes place at the Paris Opéra House where an auction of old theater memorabilia is in progress.  The next lot – Lot 666 – is an old chandelier that is connected to “the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera, a mystery never fully explained.”  When the chandelier is turned on, it ascends to the ceiling that restores the opera house to its former grandeur, allowing the orchestra to perform the memorable overture.

“Phantom” just hit the 13,500 mark in performances and has been seen by just under 20 million people in the course of its run.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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