After 25 Years, Phantom Still Astounds; Gala Anniversary Performance Filled With Surprises

By Adam Hetrick
27 Jan 2013

Sierra Boggess
Sierra Boggess
Photo by Monica Simoes

Surprise guests, returning alumni, new videos, eager ovations and starry encores punctuated The Phantom of the Opera's historic Jan. 26 Broadway performance — the 25th anniversary of the blockbuster's New York opening night. Playbill.com was there.

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It has been 25 years since The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its Broadway opening night at the Majestic Theatre on Jan, 26 1988, after taking London audiences by storm a year prior. The romantic, Victorian-set melodrama would also capture U.S. audiences, earning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The Jan. 26, 2013, gala anniversary performance left no question as to why this musical, which floats on Andrew Lloyd Webber's lush score, has continued to enthrall audiences a quarter of a century after it was first unmasked.

The landmark evening was particularly memorable for me personally. The Phantom of the Opera was the first show my parents took me to see on Broadway – instilling in me a lifelong love of theatre. I wrote about that experience in a Playbill magazine piece that also appears on Playbill.com.



Not only was I among the lucky crowd in attendance for the 25th anniversary gala of Phantom, but I was also able to sit next to my father for the special night and bring our story full circle.

Prior to the start of the 6:30 PM gala performance, the creative team shared a brief film documenting some of Phantom's history with highlights of news coverage of its Broadway premiere. The mega-musical was already a hot ticket prior to the start of New York performances, with lines stretching down 44th Street when the box office first opened at the Majestic. Such lines may be rare in our current era of online ticket sales, however, Phantom's buzz from London prompted record Broadway box office sales and demand before previews began. A rarely repeated feat.

Buy the 25th-anniversary limited-edition commemorative Phantom Playbill at PlaybillStore.com.

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