Broadway's 'The Phantom of the Opera' to close after nearly 35 years The Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera" will close in February, after nearly 35 years in performance. It was doomed in part by slow post-pandemic ticket sales.

Broadway's 'The Phantom of the Opera' to close after nearly 35 years

Broadway's 'The Phantom of the Opera' to close after nearly 35 years

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The Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera" will close in February, after nearly 35 years in performance. It was doomed in part by slow post-pandemic ticket sales.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Yuck - one last time. "The Phantom Of The Opera" will close in February. It is the longest-running show on Broadway - almost 35 years - and seems almost as much a part of the place as pizza by the slice and shops selling Statue of Liberty snow globes. The post-pandemic audience is down, and "Phantom" production costs are high. This isn't a Beckett play, with two characters talking about the monotony of existence. "Phantom" tells the story of an opera aficionado who haunts the Paris Opera House and wore a mask long before COVID made masks fashion statements, features a full orchestra and dazzling stagecraft, especially a chandelier that swoops on cue. The show contains some of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's best-known songs, including the title number "All I Ask Of You" and - I tear just think of it - "The Music Of The Night."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT")

MICHAEL CRAWFORD: (As the Phantom of the Opera, singing) Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams. Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before.

SIMON: "Phantom" may be leaving Broadway, but it leaves many memories among the 19.8 million people who've seen it in various stagings in 17 different languages. A new production in Mandarin will soon make that 18, and the show still runs in London. As a masked man sings, the Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA")

CRAWFORD: (As the Phantom of the Opera, singing) The Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind.

SIMON: But BJ Leiderman still writes our theme music.

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