So why does it say “longest running American musical?” Because Phantom is actually the longest-running musical on Broadway. Chicago is the runner up! The Phantom of the Opera, which by provenance is a British musical, makes Broadway history by going strong for over 30 years and over 13,000 performances.
Reprising our recent post regarding #PhantomFashion30, we want you to know it is not too late to catch up with the newly minted masks:
Behind the mask is a long-running– at 30+ years, in fact, the longest running– Broadway musical.
In celebration of that milestone, which occurred for The Phantom of the Opera on this past January 26th, and for the benefit of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, 30 well-loved designers are reinterpreting the iconic mask, originally designed for the production by Maria Björnson and realized by milliner Rodney Gordon.
The #PhantomFashion30 designers include well-loved brands and names, such as Badgley Mischka, Chloe Gosselin, and Kenneth Cole. Also tackling the design challenge are Christian Roth, Dennis Basso, Edie Parker, Eugenia Kim, Gigi Burris, Ilesteva, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Judith Leiber, Kendra Scott, Lizzie Fortunato, Marchesa, Naeem Khan, Nick Graham, Nicole Miller, Pamella Roland, Paul Marlow, Rebecca Minkoff, Sachin & Babi, Sally LaPointe, Stephen Dweck, Swarovski, Tadashi Shoji, Tanya Taylor, Title of Work, Vivienne Tam, Wolk Morais, and Zang Toi.
The #PhantomFashion30 designs were revealed during an exclusive invite-only event sponsored by Bank of America on Tuesday, October 30. Beginning Wednesday, October 31, the thirty masks will then go on display at the Museum of the City of New York for 30 days.
These one of a kind creations will be up for bids during a special on-line auction from the 30th of October through November 30th, with proceeds going to Broadway Cares.
#PhantomFashion30 will have 30 well-loved designers reinterpreting the iconic mask, originally designed by the late Maria Björnson and realized by milliner Rodney Gordon, through their individual aesthetic.
The #PhantomFashion30 designs will be revealed during an exclusive invite-only event sponsored by Bank of America on Tuesday, October 30. Beginning Wednesday, October 31, the 30 masks will then go on display at the Museum of the City of New York for 30 days. These one of a kind creations will be up for bids during a special on-line auction from the 30th of October through November 30th in benefit to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
It is unrivaled, really, to have a show run for so long that it has gone well past its first generation. Longevity, of course, is not the only thing to recommend the longest-running musical melodrama on Broadway.
The Phantom of the Opera, still going strong after 30 years on Broadway at The Majestic, has a new leading anti-hero, the young Broadway veteran Ben Crawford. He will be donning the mask originally worn by Michael Crawford when the show opened in January 1988. and more recently by Norm Lewis and James Barbour. Crawford was last seen on the stage as Mr. Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The 19th Raoul in the musical’s storied history on Broadway,Jay Armstrong Johnson will be joining the cast on April 30th. Johnson has appeared in the original Broadway casts of Hair (revival, in his Broadway debut), and Catch Me If You Can to name a few of his many theater credits. Johnson has also appeared in movies and television, including his leading role in ABC TV’s Quantico.
Ben Crawford as the malevolent masked man and Jay Armstrong Johnson as the dashing Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, join current principal cast members Ali Ewoldt as Christine, (with Kaley Ann Voorhees taking on the role at certain performances,) Laird Mackintosh as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta, Carlton Moe as Piangi,Maree Johnson as Madame Giry and Kara Klein as Meg Giry.
To learn more about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic Phantom, and for tickets to the Broadway production (with links to its worldwide reach), please visit The Phantom‘s website.
Your assignment, my pets, is to see the 1943 film of the same name as the long-running Broadway musical.
The cinematic version is not strictly speaking a musical but it is full of melodies. Many a colorful opera is staged during the course of the movie. Nelson Eddy is Anatole, the baritone in love with the soprano Christine Dubois (Susanna Foster), who is also the object of adulation for Raoul (Edgar Barrier), the prefect of the Sécurité– in other words, a police captain.
She is also adored at a distance by a modest and timid older man, Erique Claudin, played by Claude Rains. Unlike Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom, he is not a singer; he is the first violin in the Paris Opéra Orchestra. Like Broadway’s Phantom he is so obsessed with Christine that he will kill for her advancement. Along the way, this meek and odd little man collects some genuine and deep-seated grievances to warrant his unravelling as well.
Claudin has a champion in the figure of Franz Liszt (Fritz Lieber) who admires the concerto the violinist submitted- without success- to a recalcitrant publisher, Pleyel (Miles Mander). None of this diverts Claudin from Christine. And, oh, do watch out for that chandelier!
Once you have completed your homework, go see #PhantomBroadway again, or for the first time. It is lusher and more layered than the wonderful 1943 film version of Phantom of the Opera. (Note that if it happens you are not in New York City, you may find Phantom on Tour or in London and Budapest, for instance.)
It is truly a musical, operatically filled with memorable lyrics and superb music. It is also so fantastical as to invite repeated visits to a theater near you.
The production is the longest running Broadway musical, having hit its 29th year mark last January. The Phantom currently in residence is James Barbour, with Ali Ewoldt and Rachel Eskanazi-Gold alternating as Christine. Raoul, who is a Vicomte and not a policeman here, is played by Rodney Ingram.
In the Lloyd Webber incantation, the Phantom is a singer with some of the most gorgeous songs to sing. He is a beautiful, evil-hearted beast. He is Christine Daaé’s Svengali and his melodies haunt as he haunts the Paris Opéra House.
For tickets, please visit the #PhantomBroadway website, which will also guide you to the touring companies.
Matilda, before it became a Broadway musical (since closed after a long run), was first a book then a movie. Roald Dahl won the 1988 Childrens Book Award for this novel of triumph over adversity. As with other Dahl stories for children, the protagonist is precocious and the plot is wry.
The film of Matilda features Danny DeVito, who also directs, along with Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris. Now this inspiring family favorite returns to the big screen in stunning HD with Academy Award-nominated composer David Newman’s score played in sync by a full symphony orchestra.
For the world premiere of Matilda Live in Concert, Newman will conduct the Houston Symphony on June 9th in Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillon in The Woodlands.
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 theOlivier 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 haslyrics 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 againsoon.