Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
The Phantom Of The Opera — Broadway’s longest-running show — is scheduled to close in February 2023, the biggest victim yet of the post-pandemic softening in theatre attendance in New York, according to reports.
The musical — a fixture on Broadway since 1988 — will play its final performance on Broadway in February, according to multiple reports including The New York Times and New York Post, which first reported the news.
A spokesman for the show did not respond to questions from The Associated Press.
It is a costly musical to sustain, with elaborate sets and costumes as well as a large cast and orchestra.
Box office grosses have fluctuated since the show reopened after the pandemic — going as high as over one million dollars a week but also dropping to around $850,000. Last week, it hit $867,997 and producers may have seen the writing on the wall.
Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, Phantom tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lavish songs include Masquerade, Angel Of Music, All I Ask Of You and The Music Of The Night.
The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in 17 languages over 70,000 performances.
On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,500 performances to 19 million people at The Majestic Theatre.
The closing of Phantom would mean the longest running show crown would go to Chicago, which started in 1996. The Lion King is next, having begun performances in 1997.
Broadway took a pounding during the pandemic, with all theatres closed for more than 18 months. Breaking even usually requires a steady stream of tourists, especially to Phantom.