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Happy 29th Birthday To The Phantom Of The Opera The Longest-Running Show In Broadway History

Happy 29th Birthday To The Phantom Of The Opera The Longest-Running Show In Broadway History
James Barbour, The Phantom of The Opera

Principal cast members (behind the banner, left to right): Kara Klein as Meg Giry, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, Michele McConnell as Carlotta, Kyle Barisich as Raoul*, Kaley Ann Voorhees as Christine (Alternate), James Barbour as The Phantom, Ali Ewoldt as Christine, Jordan Donica as Raoul*, Laird Mackintosh as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin and John Easterlin as Piangi
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera are making theater history, today as they celebrate their 29th year. This record-extending feat has been achieved by no other Broadway show. The 29th Anniversary will take place this Thursday, January 26 with two performances (2 & 8PM) at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street).

James Barbour,Ali Ewoldt,  The Phantom of The Opera

James Barbour as The Phantom, Ali Ewoldt as Christine and Kyle Barisich as Raoul

The New York production of Phantom has played over 12,000 performances to 17.5 million people and grossed a staggering more than $1 billion. The Phantom Of The Opera has been Broadway’s longest-running show for over a decade.

James Barbour, Ali Ewoldt,The Phantom of The Opera

Jordan Donica as Raoul*, Kaley Ann Voorhees as Christine (Alternate), James Barbour as The Phantom, Ali EwoldtasChristine and Kyle Barisich as Raoul*

Leading man James Barbour continues his astonishing performance in the title role, alongside his acclaimed co-stars Ali Ewoldt (Christine Daaé) and Kyle Barisich (Raoul). Continuing in their co-starring roles are Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Linda Balgord (Madame Giry), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), John Easterlin (Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays the role of Christine.

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 is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, 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 design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This spring, with the return of Sunset Boulevard, Andrew Lloyd Webber will have the rare distinction of having four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway: The Phantom Of The Opera, School of Rock – The Musical, Cats and Sunset Boulevard.

 

PHANTOM FACTS

The Phantom Of The Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 with its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record-holder Cats, also by Andrew Lloyd Webber and also produced by Cameron Mackintosh.  Incredibly, since breaking that record, The Phantom  has played both an additional 11 years and more than 4,500 performances .

On November 28, 2016, the New York production celebrated another historic milestone: becoming the first and only Broadway show to reach 12,000 performances. (By way of comparison, hantom has played over 9 years and 4,000 performances more than Broadway’s second longest-running show, Chicago.)

Phantom became the first stage production to reach worldwide grosses of $6 billion, which it did in 2014. Revenues far surpass the world’s highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.8 billion), as well as such other blockbusters as Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars.

Worldwide, a staggering 140 million people have seen The Phantom Of The Opera in 35 countries and 160 cities in 15 languages.

The flagship London production of The Phantom Of The Opera opened October 9, 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Last month, it celebrated its 30th Anniversary and surpassed 12,500 performances. Previously, in October 2011, it reached 25 Years, a milestone that was celebrated with a special production at London’s Royal Albert Hall to tremendous acclaim. A live recording was released on CD by Decca and a DVD of the event was released by Universal Home Entertainment.

There are currently seven productions of The Phantom Of The Opera around the world: London, New York, Sapporo (Japan, in repertory), Budapest (Hungary, in repertory), Prague (Czech Republic), Stockholm (Sweden) and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production, now in its third year on North American Tour. The next confirmed international opening will be Gothenburg (Sweden) in August 2017.

The musical has won more than 70 major theater awards, including seven 1988 Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and three Olivier Awards plus the 2016 Olivier Audience Award in the West End. The original cast recording, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide, is the best-selling cast recording of all time. Since September 2010, thousands of high school and college student productions of PHANTOM have been licensed through R&H Theatricals.

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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