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Phantom toasts its 17th year

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The Phantom of the Opera celebrated 17 years on Broadway on January 26, with its 7,088th and 7,089th performances making it only the second Broadway show to reach that milestone.

The Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc production as been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide, with total tickets sales of over $3.2 billion. In New York, the production has been seen by more than 10 million people with box office grosses reaching $560 million.

The Phantom of the Opera had its world premiere on October 9, 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, winning Olivier and Evening Standard Awards that year. The New York production opened on January 26, 1988 at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre – where it still remains – with a then-record advance of $18 million. It went on to win seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The original London cast recording was the first in British musical history to enter the charts at No 1. It has since gone both gold and platinum in Britain and the US, selling more than 25 million copies worldwide.

Phantom overtook Les Miserables as the second-longest running show on Broadway in February 2003. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other long-runner Cats still holds the record, which closed after 18 years and 7,485 performances. Lloyd Webber composed the music for both Cats and Phantom, while Mackintosh produced Cats, Phantom and Les Miserables.

The long-awaited film of Phantom, produced by Lloyd Webber and directed by Joel Schumacher, was released in December and has been nominated for three Academy Awards, for cinematography, song – for Learn to Be Lonely – and art direction.

The Broadway cast and crew of Phantom celebrated their 17th year with a private party after the evening performance on January 26.

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