A fundraising campaign and auctions of props, costumes and memorabilia related to the 10-year-old Toronto staging of The Phantom of the Opera, which closed Oct. 31 after 4,226 performances, garnered $92,500 for Canadian charity.
The "monkey music box," a prop famous in the opening scene of the Andrew Lloyd Webber show (and culled from the Toronto staging), sold Oct. 31 for an astonishing $28,000, according to Phantom Touring LLC, an SFX Entertainment company, which produced the show.
In the musical, the monkey music box is sold at auction in 1905 for 30 francs. It is described thus in the script: "A papier-mache musical box, in the shape of a barrel organ. Attached, the figure of a monkey in Persian robes, playing the cymbals."
This was the first time any items from the production had been made available for purchase. A Paul Stanley Signature PS2000 guitar emblazoned with the The Phantom of the Opera logo and the "Phantom" mask with KISS star insignia, created by Washburn International, sold for $13,500. The one-of-a-kind guitar had a value of $5,000. Stanley's Phantom mask, autographed and mounted in a frame, sold for $9,000. Stanley, of the rock group KISS, was the last of many actors to play the title role at the Pantages Theatre.
The money earned at auction goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Canadian Actors' Equity Association/ Equity Fights AIDS. Proceeds from a live auction raised $56,400 and two silent auctions together raised an additional $20,130. The Phantom company also solicited funds from the stage following each performance during the final week of performances and raised another $16,000.
It was not immediately clear what would be the next show at the richly restored Pantages, the onetime jewel in the crown of properties held by Livent. The financially foundering company was bought by SFX earlier in 1999.