Phantom of The Opera To Take Its Final Bow

Phantom of The Opera, the longest running show on Broadway, is coming to a close


As news alerts began appearing on cell phones and computers on Sept. 16, 2022 that the popular show “The Phantom of the Opera” was closing on Broadway, people around the world, as well as at Fordham University, were shocked. 

The longest-running show on Broadway has announced its finish line, which will be reached on Feb. 18, 2023. While there remains a multitude of shows, “The Phantom of the Opera” has been a Broadway staple since Jan. 6, 1988. 

Over its 35 year run, people have traveled from all around the world to sit in the audience and become enveloped in the romantic horror story. As the infamous show comes to an end, its impact will be timeless throughout Broadway’s future.

Broadway is home to the biggest and most captivating musicals and plays that people will ever come upon, from the historical “Hamilton” to the breathtaking “The Lion “King.” “The Phantom of the Opera” stood out from these other shows for many reasons. It continually broke many records, which are still standing strong in the theater world — so strong, in fact, that it may be hard for the current and future shows to surpass it in the near future, if at all. 

As “The Phantom of the Opera” debuted on Broadway in 1988, the bar was instantly set for all then-current and future Broadway productions. Most recently, the show won a 2013 Guinness  World Record for the longest running Broadway show, having done 10,000 shows. By the time of its closing, “The Phantom of The Opera” will have performed 13,925 shows over its run.

This show not only excelled in performance numbers but also excelled in the amount of seats sold since its opening day. “The Phantom of the Opera” has sold 19.8 million seats, according to The New York Times.  This number is much more than any other Broadway show, with the next highest show being Chicago with 9,155 performances. This number goes a long way to express the attention and love people — including Fordham students — gave to this show.

“The Phantom of The Opera” very quickly accumulated worldwide fame and attention, and soon after, people outside of Broadway got to enjoy this supposed masterpiece. 

The audience did not have to understand the words or music to appreciate the love story between the Phantom and Christine. The emotion and body language told a story that could be appreciated by all. However, this show has been translated into 17 different languages and has gathered audiences in 183 cities around the world, which demonstrates how many cultures and people got to appreciate this performance. Due to the international appeal of this show, many people outside of New York City could also be feeling the loss of this news. 

This show, or rather experience, will close its curtains far too soon, even after 35 years. Broadway will face an emptiness in the Majestic Theater where this performance was held countless times. 

As people reflect on this show, it is important to remember the life lessons woven into the script, such as how a romantic relationship between two people may not always work and why it is important to not make assumptions about who someone is. This show was more than a three hour performance with elaborate music and perfect costumes — it showcased human emotion and connection. 

“The Phantom of the Opera” will be missed by current and previous actors, die-hard fans and, of course, the theater world. However, there are still some chances to see this performance before the actors take their final bow on the stage. Tickets may become more expensive as this news turns into reality, so the time to buy them is now.