Broadway's Phantom Hits 10,000th Performance on Feb. 11; Milestone Benefits The Actors Fund
By Kenneth Jones
Alumni of the 24-year Broadway run of The Phantom of the Opera are expected to be sprinkled among the audience of the history-making 10,000th Broadway performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical at 2 PM Feb. 11 at the Majestic Theatre. The matinee, to include a special post-show presentation, benefits The Actors Fund.
Now in its 24th year, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Charles Hart-Richard Stilgoe-written musical, directed by Harold Prince, is the longest-running production in Broadway history.
Patrons who purchase a $500 ticket will receive prime orchestra seating and the opportunity to join the Broadway cast onstage directly after the curtain call for a champagne toast, followed by a private post-show reception at Sardi’s with invited Phantom alumni, current cast members and special guests; $250 ticket purchase includes prime seating and Sardi's reception.
The alumni in attendance will include original cast members Rebecca Luker and Cris Groenendaal, among others.
The Phantom of the Opera has been a longtime supporter of The Actors Fund.
"Celebrating the 10,000th performance of Phantom is fantastic and consistent with the generosity demonstrated since 1988," Joseph P. Benincasa, president and CEO of The Actors Fund, told Playbill.com. "The Phantom of the Opera has donated 23 Special Benefit Performances to The Fund, all over the country. Our Trustee Hal Prince started our FUNDTIX program with four of his house seats. And The Actors Fund was honored to benefit from galas paying tribute to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1995 and Sir Cameron Mackintosh in 1999. The almost $4 million raised by The Phantom has made a profound impact on the lives of those helped by The Actors Fund."
He added an apt "BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO."
The curtain call will feature the entire cast (in full costume), including stars Hugh Panaro (The Phantom), Trista Moldovan (Christine) and Kyle Barisich (Raoul). Alongside a giant custom-made cake (in the shape of "10,000"), they will be joined on stage by the show's choreographer Gillian Lynne to introduce an international video filmed for the occasion.
Tickets for the benefit are available for $500, $250, $136.50, $96.50 and $76.50. For tickets call (212) 221-7300, ext. 133, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.store.actorsfund.org.
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone – performers and those behind the scenes – who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online.
The Majestic Theatre is located at 245 West 44th Street.
Only two weeks ago, on Jan. 26, Phantom celebrated the 24th anniversary of its opening night. The international smash is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Company, Inc.
The Phantom of the Opera, which won the 1988 Tony Award as Best Musical, became the longest-running show in Broadway history on Jan. 9, 2006, with its 7,486th performance (surpassing the previous record-holder, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, also produced by Mackintosh).
Since its debut on Broadway Jan. 26, 1988, the musical has grossed $845 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history.
The Phantom of the Opera cast currently features Hugh Panaro in the title role with Trista Moldovan as Christine and Kyle Barisich as Raoul, with Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Monsieur André), Kevin Ligon (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Christian Šebek (Piangi) and Heather McFadden (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Marni Raab plays Christine.
The London production, which celebrated 10,000 performances in October 2010, celebrated 25 years in October 2011 with a special production at The Royal Albert Hall. On Feb. 7, a live recording will be released on CD by Decca and a DVD of the event will be released by Universal Home Entertainment.
The performance schedule for the Phantom on Broadway is Monday evenings at 8 PM, Tuesday evenings at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM.
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