Theater staged a pandemic comeback, however audiences didn’t get the memo.
Almost a 12 months after Broadway raised its curtains — marking an finish to greater than 18 months of COVID closures — one in every of its most storied exhibits introduced it’ll go darkish for good. “Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running present in Broadway historical past, plans to stage its last efficiency in February. The not fully surprising transfer marks an finish to 35 years on the Majestic Theatre, and an period through which many grownup theatergoers couldn’t think about Broadway with out the enduring marquee’s white masks and pink rose.
Like many exhibits throughout the nation, “Phantom” couldn’t summon again the audiences that sustained it earlier than brutal pandemic closures drained the lifeblood out of the business. Contradictory messaging round masking in theaters, persevering with COVID-related cancellations and a cussed sample of audiences sticking near residence mixed to create a deadly panorama for the performing arts.
Many arts leaders reported that, strive as they could, only a few exhibits — wanting pop-cultural phenomenons like “Hamilton” — had been drawing the sorts of crowds that might fill coffers in the long run. “Phantom” couldn’t sustain on this harsh new setting, with the New York Publish reporting that the present was shedding about $1 million monthly since its reopening final October.
The present’s web site incorporates a pop-up web page saying the information and confirming that the final efficiency might be on Saturday, Feb. 18. “Phantom” will rejoice its thirty fifth anniversary in January.
“The Phantom of the Opera” opened in 1988 and has performed greater than 13,700 performances. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, with lyrics by Charles Hart and a e book by Webber and Richard Stilgoe, is predicated on the 1910 eponymous French novel by Gaston Leroux. The Gothic melodrama follows a soprano who’s pursued by a masked musician who lives within the candle-lighted underworld of chambers beneath the Paris Opera Home.
The present, whereas not at all times lauded by critics, grew to become a beloved staple of Broadway, successful seven Tony Awards the 12 months it opened, together with finest musical. Since then, based on numbers compiled by the Broadway League and reported by the New York Instances, the present has been seen on Broadway by 19.8 million individuals, and grossed $1.3 billion.