Phantom of the Opera Closes 35 Year Broadway Run


Ava Raiter

Broadway’s longest-running musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, will close a 35-year run at the Majestic Theatre in New York City on April 16, 2023. Covid and reduced ticket sales over the past several years led to the difficult decision to close the show. Originally set to close on February 18, 2023, the show’s run was extended after ticket sales skyrocketed and fans rushed to see the world-famous musical before its final curtain. 

The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway on January 26, 1988, and has performed over 13,700 shows. The opening of the musical on Broadway was surpassed only by its predecessor, the original Phantom production that opened in London’s West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1986, and is still running today. 

However, the world-famous musical had humble beginnings. The Phantom of the Opera is based on the 1910 novel of the same name written by French author Gaston Leroux. Following up on successes like Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, Lloyd Webber longed to compose a romantic musical, and, teaming up with lyricist Charles Hart and librettist Richard Stilgoe, did just that. The show follows the disfigured opera ghost, known as the Phantom, who haunts the Paris Opera and falls in love with the young and beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé. The Phantom is infatuated with Christine and jealous of anyone who gets in her way, especially her childhood friend and love interest to Christine, Raoul. This results in a series of disasters, murders, and the eventual kidnapping of Christine in the Phantom’s lair, which is hidden in the depths of the Paris Opera house, in the cellar.

While composing the score, Lloyd Webber was married to British actress Sarah Brightman and wrote the role of Christine for her. Brightman starred as Christine Daaé at the show’s opening in London in 1986 and also went on to originate the role on Broadway. 

Since then, over 38 women have played the role of Christine Daaé and over 13 men have played the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Currently, Christine is played by Emilie Kouatchou and the Phantom is played by Ben Crawford, both of whom will close the show this spring.

Over the course of 35 years, over 20 million people have witnessed the chandelier crash and the haunting music of The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre. The show has won seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and will play its final performance to an audience of family, friends, and former cast members.

Throughout its dashing score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the suspenseful plot, and the intricate costumes and sets, The Phantom of the Opera has been one of the most influential Broadway shows of our time. The legacy of the beloved opera ghost will continue to live on even after the chandelier rises and the iconic overture plays for the final time at the Majestic Theatre.


“It’s over now, the music of the night.”

The Phantom of the Opera