Light the Candles: Phantom of the Opera Marks an Anniversary Jan. 26

News   Light the Candles: Phantom of the Opera Marks an Anniversary Jan. 26
Broadway's longest-running musical turns 29.
James Barbour Matthew Murphy

Broadway‘s longest-running show, The Phantom of the Opera, celebrates its unprecedented 29th anniversary on January 26.

A production spokesperson told that both performances (Phantom plays a Thursday matinee) will be marked by a curtain speech by James Barbour, who currently plays the title character. There will also be a private cast party January 28 after the Saturday night show. Barbour currently appears alongside co-stars Ali Ewoldt (Christine Daaé) and Kyle Barisich (Raoul).

Last November Phantom notched its 12,000th performance. Billed as "the most successful stage musical of all time," the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. production was directed by Harold Prince and won seven 1988 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Thhe New York production has played to more than 17 million people and grossed more than $1 billion.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, the musical "tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command."

Phantom has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and book by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber.

Production design is by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The flagship London production of The Phantom of the Opera opened October 9, 1986, at Her Majesty’s Theatre. In October 2016, the West End production celebrated its 30th anniversary and surpassed 12,500 performances.

The show became the first stage production to reach worldwide grosses of $6 billion, which it did in 2014. Box office revenues surpass the world’s highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.8 billion), as well as such other blockbuster movies as Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Worldwide, 140 million people have seen The Phantom of the Opera in 35 countries and 160 cities in 15 languages, according to the producers.

Read: More Little-Known Phantom Facts

There are currently seven productions of The Phantom of the Opera playing around the world: London; New York; Sapporo, Japan (in repertory); Budapest, Hungary (in repertory); Prague, Czech Republic; Stockholm, Sweden; and Cameron Mackintosh’s new production, now in its third year on North American Tour. The next confirmed international opening will be Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2017.

Since September 2010, thousands of high school and college student productions have been licensed through R&H Theatricals.

For more information, visit

(Updated January 26, 2017)

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
Today’s Most Popular News: