"Phantom" to pass 20-year mark on Broadway

Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:59pm EST
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Phantom of the Opera," already the longest-running musical in Broadway history, will mark its 20th anniversary in New York on Saturday with two performances.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which won seven Tony awards in 1988, has grossed nearly $675 million over its record run of over 8,300 performances. Worldwide, "Phantom" has raked in over $5 billion since opening in London in 1986.

The show became the longest-running Broadway musical in 2006 when it surpassed "Cats," which also was composed by Lloyd Webber.

During its New York run 11 actors have played the title role, using over 350 custom-made Phantom masks in the process, according to a statement issued by the producers.

Only one member of the original cast, George Lee Andrews, who has played several smaller roles, remains with the production.

"Phantom's" record longevity on Broadway comes as another long-running musical, "Rent," recently announced plans to close in the summer due to weak ticket sales.

Reuters/Nielsen

 
<p>Theatre-goers socialize outside the Majestic Theatre before the start of "The Phantom of the Opera" in New York January 9, 2006. "The Phantom of the Opera," already the longest running musical in Broadway history, will mark its 20th anniversary in New York on Saturday with two performances. REUTERS/Seth Wenig</p>