Thursday, January 28, 1988

Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway: January 26, 1988

Originally posted January 26, 2012.

Not only can Phantom of the Opera boast winning the Olivier and Tony awards for best musical, but it is one of the longest-running musicals in history. As of 2011, it has played to more than 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries and has grossed more than $5.1 billion worldwide, making it “the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time and the most financially successful theatrical show in history.” WK

The story, which was based on “a 1911 gothic mystery novel by French novelist Gaston Leroux,” WK “focuses on a beautiful soprano, Christine DaaĆ©, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius known as ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, who terrorizes the Paris Opera House.” WK For the musical version, Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music while Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe wrote the lyrics.

In London, the musical opened on September 27, 1986. It celebrated its 9,000th performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre on May 31, 2008. That made it “the second-longest-running West End musical of all time, behind Les Miserables.” WK October 2011 marked the musical’s 25th anniversary in London. A year before, Phantom celebrated its 25th anniversary.

In New York, the show debuted at the Majestic Theater on January 26, 1988. The original London stars, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, helmed the Broadway production as well. On January 9, 2006, Phantom became “the longest-running Broadway musical of all time, breaking the record held by Lloyd Webber’s Cats…with its 7,486th performance.” WK With a gross of more than $800 million, it is “the most financially successful Broadway show in history.” WK February 11, 2012, marks the musical’s 10,000th performance, the first Broadway musical in history to accomplish such a feat. WK


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