Long running Broadway musicals are an elite group. It’s tough to survive on the Great White Way.
A Chorus Line played an exceptional 15 years on Broadway; it closed after 6,137 performances and had a 2006 Broadway revival, after many worldwide productions from Sao Paolo to Belgrade, Seoul, Oslo and Warrnambool. Chicago is still going strong, having begun its revival in 1996, after an Encores! production of the show; it had originally opened in 1975 and ran for 936 performances, closing in 1977. On the West End, Chciago ran for 15 years as well. Lucky number, it seems.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats opened in the West End in 1981 and then came to New York with the same creative team and ran from 1982 to 2000. Which brings us to the other long-lived Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera, now in its 25th year on Broadway, opening in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988.
In 1986, The Phantom of the Opera won the Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (in the title role) won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Music. Sarah Brightman played Christine Daaé opposite Crawford in that first Broadway cast. The Phantom of the Opera has lyrics by Charles Hart with additions from Richard Stilgoe, with whom Webber wrote the book. Like Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera has been staged worldwide and has launched several US Tours, and spawned a movie version.
Today, The Phantom of the Opera‘s official site invites you to buy tickets for productions from New York to Moscow, to Guangzhou, China among other locales. Having seen the original cast, and several productions since then, we are anticipating a visit to The Majestic Theatre to see The Phantom of the Opera again soon.
You’ll hear more from us when we do.
In the meantime, plan your own visit to Broadway’s longest running musical at http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/new-york