To quote Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” “and the money kept rolling in!”
After The Post first reported on Friday that the composer’s The Phantom of the Opera would be retiring from Broadway this winter after 35 years, the show grossed $2 million in ticket sales by 8 p.m., producer Cameron Mackintosh told The Post.
“The hills are alive with the sound of the music of the night!” Mackintosh said on a phone call from London.
The producer is enjoying the box-office boom and the affection of fans around the world, although The Post scrapped his announcement plans (news should drop next week).
Nevertheless, “Phantom” will definitely come to an end on February 18 in New York, shortly after a lavish party for his 35th birthday.
“Everyone thinks these shows can go on forever, but you can’t make a big show on those edges anymore,” the producer said, adding that the running costs of “Phantom” have jumped from $800,000 before the pandemic to $950,000 today US dollars have risen. And that increase comes at a most challenging time for Broadway.
“The 35-year run is even more wondrous when you consider how big it is,” Mackintosh said.
“There’s a turning point in the life of every show,” he added. “Even before COVID, the number of losing weeks was increasing.”
This may not be the last time you see the Phantom and Christine Daae. The musical could eventually return to Broadway in a different form, the producer said.
“I’m sure ‘Phantom’ will come back at some point,” he said. “After I took off ‘Les Miz’ it came back twice!”
With more than 13,000 performances since “Phantom” premiered on January 26, 1988 at the Majestic Theater, which is still his home today, it is the longest-running show on Broadway. Next comes “Chicago,” Mackintosh noted, much cheaper to run.
Although ‘Phantom’, a legendary Broadway musical, ends its storied run in February, the British producer is confident of a bright future for Broadway and the West End. Ultimately.
“What’s encouraging is that there’s still a tremendous resilience and persistence to come to shows,” said Mackintosh, whose London shows include Phantom (it’s doing well there, he said), Hamilton, Les miserables”. and Mary Poppins.
“It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but people are showing up!”