The Phantom of the Opera celebrates 24 years on Broadway

The longest-running show in Broadway history, the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, reaches an unprecedented milestone on 26 Jan 2012 when it celebrates its 24th anniversary on Broadway. The musical, which will celebrate its 10,000 performance on 11 Feb 2012, is the first Broadway production ever to have run 24 years.

The Phantom of the Opera opened at the Majestic on 26 Jan 1988, following previews from 9 Jan, and went on to sweep the 1988 Tony Awards, winning seven, including Best Musical.

Its international success – equally staggering – is represented by total worldwide grosses estimated at over $5.6 billion. This colossal figure makes The Phantom of the Opera the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world’s highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.7 billion).

Worldwide, over 65,000 performances have been seen by 130 million people in 27 countries and 145 cities in 13 languages. The flagship London production, which opened in 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, celebrated 25 years in October 2011.

Since becoming the longest-running show in Broadway history in 2006 (when it surpassed the then-record run of 'Cats'), every performance has set a new longevity record. The show has always been a record-breaker, with the New York production setting benchmarks that have dominated the industry: for capitalization (a then-spectacular $8 million), total advance (a then-colossal $18 million), total gross and attendance (now a whopping $845 million and 14.7 million, and counting) and even the number of years before a single ticket was ever sold at the TKTS ticket booth in Times Square (over 14 years, which is still the record). It was also the first and remains the only Broadway show to reach 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and now 24.

There are currently six productions around the world: London, New York, Budapest (Hungary), Kyoto (Japan), Johannesberg (South Africa) and a revised production in Las Vegas at The Venetian. In March 2012, Cameron Mackintosh’s all-new production of the musical will launch a UK National Tour.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

The Phantom of the Opera currently stars Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), *Trista Moldovan (Christine Daae), Kyle Barisich (Raoul, Vicomte de Chagn), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Monsieur Andre), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta Giudicelli), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Christian Sebek (Ubaldo Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Gir).
*The role of 'Christine Daae' is played by Marni Raab at some performances.

The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Hugh Panaro (The Phantom) and
Trista Moldovan (Christine Daae)
More production photographs