Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history, celebrated its 35th anniversary on Broadway January 26 at the Majestic Theatre.
Watch the company—currently headed by Ben Crawford as The Phantom, Emilie Kouatchou as Christine, and Paul Adam Schaefer as Raoul—take their bows in the video above. Crawford also spoke, acknowledging both the musical's unprecedented 35 years on Broadway and composer Lloyd Webber, who was in attendance. The company also joined forces for a rendition of "Happy Birthday" as a custom cake, created by chef (and diehard Phantom fan) Jürgen David and his students at the Institute of Culinary Education, was brought onto the Majestic stage.
READ: Every Actor Who's Played the Angel of Music and Christine in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
Check out photos from the anniversary performance below:
The Phantom of the Opera previously postponed its closing date and will now play through April 16. Since the announcement of its closing, the musical has played to sold-out crowds. Last week, the production emerged as Broadway's new number-one grosser. Upon closing, the musical will have played 13,981 performances.
The Broadway cast also currently features Nehal Joshi as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta Giudicelli, Maree Johnson as Madame Giry, Carlton Moe as Ubaldo Piangi, and Sara Etsy as Meg Giry. At certain performances, Julia Udine plays the role of Christine.
READ: All the Times Phantom of the Opera Made History on Broadway
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and a book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The production also features musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, scenic and costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge, and sound design by Martin Levan with Caddick as music director. Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group serve as producers. The late Harold Prince directed.
The complete Phantom orchestra—Broadway’s largest—also returned following the pandemic under the continued musical supervision of David Caddick with the musical’s original orchestrations.
The Broadway staging of the London-originated show won seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Previews on Broadway began January 9, 1988, with an official opening January 26. The original Broadway cast featured Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Judy Kaye, and the late Steve Barton.
The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history January 9, 2006, when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of Cats. The production’s nearly 14,000 performances have been seen by 20 million people and grossed $1.3 billion. Phantom has been the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history. In the New York production alone, an estimated 6,500 people (including 450 actors) have been employed during its more than three-decade run.