Saturday, February 11 marked the 10,000th Broadway performance of the mega-hit “Phantom of the Opera,” which is makes it the first Broadway show to do so.
The longest-running show on Broadway also recently celebrated its 24th anniversary last month. The Andrew Lloyd Weber production opened January 26, 1988, with previews beginning January 8 of the same year. The show won seven Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by its director, Harold Prince.
The New York Times reports that what began as an $8 million production during a time when many Broadway theaters were empty has now earned $845 million over its lifetime. More than that, the paper also comments that the production essentially came to define modern Broadway musical, and provided the groundwork for later hits like “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and “Mamma Mia!”
Still performing well, the show had its most lucrative year ever last year, grossing $44.8 million. Additionally, the production had its highest one-week gross ever during December of last year, with a total of over $1.5 million. Thus far, the show has been on Broadway for 1,256 weeks.
The original production of “The Phantom of the Opera” opened in London on October 9, 1986. That production, also still running, had its 10,000th performance in October 2010. The show is the third-longest running show of all time on West End.
Andrew Lloyd Weber also has written a sequel to the musical called “Love Never Dies.” But opening to poor reviews in London in 2010, the production closed there after less than 18 months. But Weber reworked the musical, and the new current production is garnering better reviews in Melbourne, Australia.
A film of that production will be shown around the U.S. from the end of February until early March, with hopes of reviving interest from Broadway producers.