Why and when is it closing?

After 35 years, “The Phantom of the Opera” — Broadway’s longest-running show — is closing its curtains.

When is ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closing on Broadway?

“Phantom of the Opera” is scheduled to close early next year. The closing comes shortly after the production’s 35th anniversary on Broadway.

“We are sad to confirm that after 35 years on Broadway, ‘Phantom’ will play its final performance at the Majestic Theatre on Saturday February 18th, 2023,” the show announced on its website. “Tickets are currently on sale for performances through January 22, 2023, and we expect the final block of tickets to be placed on sale shortly.”

Why is ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closing on Broadway?

“Phantom” now marks “the biggest victim yet of the post-pandemic softening in theater attendance in New York,” NPR reported.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber-composed musical about a mysterious composer who haunts the Paris Opera House has navigated several challenges over the years, but bouncing back from the pandemic proved to be most difficult: Box office numbers have not remained steady, and “Phantom” is an expensive musical to sustain, per NPR.

The production earned $867,997 for the week ending in Sept. 11, but that number falls substantially behind newer musicals like “Hamilton” and “Into the Woods,” and even other longstanding shows like “The Lion King” and “Wicked,” Deadline reported.

Recently, the average ticket price for “Phantom” was around $83. Average tickets for “Funny Girl” and “Hamilton,” meanwhile, were $175 and $197, respectively, according to Deadline.

The news comes a couple of months after it was announced that Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was being shelved on Broadway — a decision made by former producer Scott Rudin, who still owns the rights to the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rudin cited his “lack of confidence in the climate for plays next winter” in his decision, saying that he “did not believe that a remount of ‘Mockingbird’ would have been competitive in the marketplace,” per IndieWire.

“It’s too risky and the downside is too great,” Rudin wrote, according to IndieWire. “It’s the right decision for the long life of the show.”

Now, “The Phantom of the Opera” is the latest production to take a hit following the 18-month long pandemic-induced shutdown. “Phantom” made its Broadway debut in 1988 and won the Tony Award for best musical, People reported.

Will ‘Phantom of the Opera’ ever return to Broadway?

“Phantom” producer Cameron Mackintosh has already hinted at a possible return.

“Gaston Leroux’s opera ghost may be disappearing for now, but there is no doubt that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece will continue to enchant audiences in London and around the world — and one day will return to Broadway,” Mackintosh told The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, the production continues to play on London’s West End, and the first Mandarin-language version of the show opens in China next year, People reported.

The closing of “Phantom” means “Chicago,” which hit Broadway in 1996, would become Broadway’s longest-running show, according to NPR.

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