'The Phantom of the Opera' will end its run on Broadway next year.

'The Phantom of the Opera' will end its run on Broadway next year.

'The Phantom of the Opera' will end its run on Broadway next year.
Ben Crawford, "Phantom of The Opera" Getty Images

NEW YORK  — "The Phantom of the Opera," Broadway's longest-running musical, is set to stop in February 2023, becoming the most visible victim of New York's post-pandemic softness in theatrical attendance.

The show, which has been on Broadway since 1988 and has survived recessions, wars, and cultural revolutions, will have its final performance on February 18, according to a spokeswoman for The Associated Press. The closure will occur less than a month after the company's 35th anniversary.

With extravagant sets and costumes, as well as a big cast and orchestra, it is an expensive production to maintain. Since the play resumed following the epidemic, box office earnings have varied, reaching over $1 million per week but also falling to roughly $850,000. It topped $867,997 last week, and producers may have spotted the writing on the wall.

"Phantom," based on Gaston Leroux's novel, depicts the story of a disfigured composer who haunts the Paris Opera House and falls hopelessly in love with Christine, an innocent young singer. "Masquerade," "Angel of Music," "All I Ask of You," and "The Music of the Night" are among Andrew Lloyd Webber's opulent tunes.

Since its premiere in London in 1986, the play has been viewed by over 145 million people in 183 places and performed in 17 languages over 70,000 times. The musical has performed in front of almost 13,500 people at The Majestic Theatre on Broadway alone.

With the end of "Phantom," the longest-running program would be "Chicago," which debuted in 1996. "The Lion King" is up next, with performances beginning in 1997.

During the epidemic, all Broadway theaters were shuttered for more than 18 months. A regular supply of tourists, particularly to "Phantom," is frequently required to break even.

The New York Post broke the story on Friday.

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