Broadway’s 'Phantom of the Opera' Celebrates 29 Years of Record-Breaking Success

Joe Webb

by Joe Webb

Published February 14, 2017

In January of 1988, Times Square was still essentially a seedy red-light district. When the Majestic Theatre on 44th Street debuted the American production of a hit West End musical, no one could have imagined how successful it would become.

On January 26, 2017, The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its record-breaking 29th anniversary on Broadway. For the millennial generation, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has been running for as long as they can remember.

While the cast celebrated the 29th anniversary on stage on January 26, technically The Phantom of the Opera breaks a record with every performance as it continues its streak of being the longest running show in Broadway history. Phantom seized that crown on January 9, 2006 from one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other musicals, Cats, and has extended its hold on that title with each new performance for the past 11 years.

The milestones Phantom has achieved on Broadway are unparalleled. It is not only the first Broadway show to play over 9,000 performances (and then 10,000, and 11,000, and 12,000), but the only show to have ever achieve those numbers. The Broadway production has played to more than 17 million people and has grossed more than $1 billion. Phantom is also one of only three shows to open on Broadway in the 20th century to still be running into the 21st. (Chicago and The Lion King are the others, as the second and third longest-running shows in Broadway history.)

The story and songs of the mesmerizing musical are familiar to all musical theater fans, but not everyone knows it was based on the story Le Fantôme de l'Opéra first published by French author Gaston Leroux in 1909. The musical chronicles the encounters between the strange Phantom and a young chorus girl named Christine, and is told through memorable songs like “Think of Me,” “The Music of the Night,” and “All I Ask of You,” as well as ground-breaking special effects that continue to thrill audiences.

The current cast of The Phantom of the Opera features James Barbour as the Phantom and Ali Ewoldt as the beautiful object of his desire, Christine. Ewoldt is the first Asian-American to portray Christine on Broadway, as the show continues to evolve with the times.

Despite the longevity and popularity of the show, tickets for The Phantom of the Opera are available and range from just $29-$169 directly through the Telecharge box office.
This post is sponsored by TicketIQ

Broadway & Musicals Stage & Screen
Send Feedback

Hand-Picked Music for Your Taste

Follow artists, discover new music, and personalize your music experience.
Registration and login will only work if you allow cookies. Please check your settings and try again.