Lloyd Webber Will Top Himself in 2005-06 When Phantom Surpasses Cats

News   Lloyd Webber Will Top Himself in 2005-06 When Phantom Surpasses Cats
 
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is on track to become Broadway's longest-running musical on the evening of Monday Jan. 9, 2006.
Hugh Panaro and Sandra Joseph in the current cast of The Phantom of the Opera
Hugh Panaro and Sandra Joseph in the current cast of The Phantom of the Opera Photo by Joan Marcus

That's the night the Cameron Mackintosh-produced musical smashzilla will play one performance more than Lloyd Webber's Cats, which ran 7,485 performances before it closed. The Harold Prince-directed production matches Cats on Saturday Jan. 7.

This record will be set barring any act of God or changes in schedule. For example, if a blizzard shuts down New York City and Broadway (a rare occurrence) before Jan. 7, the schedule would change.

No plans for a gala have been announced, but Mackintosh has, in the past, celebrated milestones for his productions. A celebration is expected.

The Phantom of the Opera, a smash first in London, then Broadway and subsequently in touring and resident sitdowns all over the world, is still doing smash business at Broadway's Majestic Theatre. The League of American Theatres and Producers reported the show to be at 100.3 percent of capacity the week of Aug. 8-14.

Phantom, which opened Jan. 26, 1988, following previews from Jan. 9, had a new infusion of box office life after it was made available at the TKTS discount ticket booth, and following the feature film version of the musical that premiered in late 2004. (It's now on DVD.) Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Ltd., The Phantom of the Opera has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and is based on the novel "Le Fantôme de L'Opéra" by Gaston Leroux. Additional lyrics are by Richard Stilgoe, with book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber.

Musical staging and choreography are by Gillian Lynne.

The current principal company includes Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Sandra Joseph (Christine), Rebecca Pitcher (Christine at certain performances), Tim Martin Gleason (Raoul), Anne Runolfsson (Carlotta), George Lee Andrews (Monsieur Andre), Jeff Keller (Monsieur Firmin), Marilyn Caskey (Madame Giry), Larry Wayne Morbitt (Ubaldo Piangi) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry).

Visit www.thephantomoftheopera.com.

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