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"The Phantom of the Opera", winner of 7 1988 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and now the longest-running show in Broadway history, is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. It tells the story of the hideously deformed Phantom who lurks beneath the stage of the Paris Opera, exercising a reign of terror over its occupants. The phantom falls in love with the young Soprano devoting himself to creating a new star for the Opera by nurturing her extraordinary talents and employing all the skills at his disposal.
A haunted theater. A masked leading man. An innocent ingenue. What’s not to love? Nothing, obviously, as more than 140 million people have seen Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece in 45 countries. The longest running show on Broadway and the most successful production, both in terms of generating profit and creating jobs, in U.S. theatrical history, the show features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, and a book by Webber and Stilgoe. (Just try not to leave the theater singing “Beware, the Phantom of the Opera” or “Think of me, think of me fondly…”)
Based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, the show has won seven Tony Awards in 1988, including Best Musical and Best Director for Harold Prince. As Frank Rich wrote in his review of the musical: “It may be possible to have a terrible time at ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ but you'll have to work at it.” So why work? Relish the production’s lush and lavish sets and costumes (230, to be exact), and allow yourself to be swept away and enchanted by the music of the night.
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May be appropriate for children 4 and older. Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
The enormous replica of the Paris Opera House chandelier has 6,000 beads and weighs one ton. The original version was built by five people in four weeks.
It takes two hours to apply the Phantom’s makeup (and 30 minutes to take off). The prosthetics are then covered by a mask, and actor who plays the role has his own custom-molded mask.
The production uses 400 pounds of dry ice each performance to create the Phantom’s underground lake.
There are more than 150 trap doors in the production.
The musical has a sequel called “Love Never Dies,” which is set on Coney Island where Christine and Raoul encounter the Phantom again 10 years later. The show debuted on the West End in 2010, and a North American tour is currently running.
January 9th, 1988
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