Broadway’s longest-running musical never fully recovered from the pandemic shutdown and will close next February
The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest-running show, is scheduled to close in February 2023.
The musical – a fixture on Broadway since 1988, weathering recessions, war and cultural shifts – will play its final performance on Broadway on 18 February, a spokesperson said on Friday. The closure will come less than a month after its 35th anniversary. It will conclude with an eye-popping 13,925 performances.
Box office grosses have fluctuated since the show reopened after the pandemic – going as high as over $1m (£870,000) a week but also dropping to about $850,000. Last week, it hit $867,997.
Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a disfigured composer who haunts the Paris opera house and falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lavish songs include Masquerade, Angel of Music, All I Ask of You and The Music of the Night.
“As a producer you dream that a show will run for ever. Indeed, my production of Andrew’s Cats proudly declared for decades ‘Now and Forever.’ Yet ‘Phantom’ has surpassed that show’s extraordinary Broadway run. But all shows do finally close,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement.
The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities and performed in 17 languages over 70,000 performances. On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,500 performances to 19 million people at the Majestic theatre.
The closing of Phantom would mean the longest running show crown would go to Chicago, which started in 1996. The Lion King is next, having begun performances in 1997.
The pandemic took its toll on Broadway with theatres closed for more than 18 months. Some of the most popular shows – Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked – have rebounded well, but other shows have struggled. Breaking even usually requires a steady stream of tourists, but visitors to the city have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.


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