The Phantom of the Opera celebrates 30 years on the Great White Way

The 30th Anniversary Gala performance is held tonight at Broadway's Majestic Theatre.

The Phantom of the Opera

Broadway's longest-running show of all time, The Phantom of the Opera marks 30 years on the Great White Way with a special 30th Anniversary Gala performance at the Majestic Theatre tonight. A celebratory red carpet will be hosted by frequent Andrew Lloyd Webber-collaborator and Broadway favorite Sierra Boggess and daughter Imogen Lloyd Webber from 6pm, featuring interviews with special guests, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber himself. An Onstage Presentation will also be held directly after the gala performance, with musical numbers performed by surprise guest artists, and finally at 11pm, a Music-To-Light show will illuminate the Empire State Building. The light show has been custom designed for the occasion by Marc Brickman and synchronized to a special arrangement of music from The Phantom of the Opera. Fans not able to attend tonight can follow all the action from the red carpet, onstage presentation and music-to-light show on Twitter (@PhantomBway).

This Friday marks the actual date of the 30th Anniversary and producers will mark that occasion with an extra matinee performance at the Majestic Theatre at 2pm, as well as a special TV appearance by Phantom stars Peter Jöback and Ali Ewoldt on NBC's "The Today Show" on 10am.

The New York production of The Phantom of the Opera has grossed over $1.1 billion at the box office and has played over 12,500 performances to 18 million people as the musical enters its fourth decade on Broadway.

Directed by Harold Prince, The Phantom of the Opera officially opened at the Majestic Theatre on January 26, 1988, following previews from January 9, and went on to sweep the 1988 Tony Awards, winning seven categories including "Best Musical".

The 30th Anniversary cast includes Platinum-selling Swedish recording artist Peter Jöback (as The Phantom), Ali Ewoldt (as Christine Daaé), Rodney Ingram (as Raoul), Laird Mackintosh (as Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (as Monsieur Firmin), Raquel Suarez Groen (as Carlotta), Carlton Moe (as Piangi), Maree Johnson (as Madame Giry), and Kara Klein (as Meg Giry). Kayley Ann Voorhees continues as the production's alternate Christine Daaé.

Peter Jöback as The Phantom

The Phantom of the Opera features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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 musical features scenic design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge and sound design by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Phantom of the Opera Tickets are available now for performances through to June 30, 2018.

(Photos by Joan Marcus)