‘Ghost in the theater’ – 35-year love on Broadway

“The Phantom in the Theater” – telling the story of Phantom’s unrequited love – will have its final performance on Broadway in February 2023, after 35 years.

Follow Financial Times, Theatrical representative in New York (USA) said that they faced difficulties because of inflation, the number of tourists decreased while the cost of maintaining the show increased day by day. The pandemic took a toll on Broadway, as theaters were closed for 18 months. Opening period, some works such as Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked good recovery but Ghosts in the theater (original name: The Phantom of the Opera not. Before the epidemic, the producer spent 850,000 USD each time putting the play on stage. After Covid-19, this number increased to 950,000 USD, but the work only earned 850,000 USD per week.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said that the old plays in big cities tend to be increasingly dependent on tourists, especially Asians, because the locals are too familiar and no longer interested. Ghosts in the theater is a typical expensive show, when it needs to mobilize up to 130 actors, staff, musicians, 230 costumes and many expensive accessories.

Trailer “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway. Video: Youtube The Phantom of the Opera

Sheet New York’s Time evaluate Ghosts in the theater embodies the magnificence of the stage, is a magnet for tourists, has stood out from the vicissitudes of the commercial theater market for many years. The work is an icon of Broadway in the 1980s, conceived by three legendary figures in theatrical history: composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh. In 2018, when the musical turned 30, they celebrated by showing a portion on the Empire State Building.

The play revolves around singer Christine and a mysterious man in the theater – rumored to be a ghost. The ghost (Phantom) has a deformed face, living in seclusion because of being abandoned by people. Having learned vocal techniques from overhearing famous opera masters, Phantom has a wonderful voice. He taught Christine (Sierra Boggess), a young singer specializing in supporting roles. Christine initially believes that Phantom is the “angle of music”, his voice coming from her heart. Things become complicated when the Phantom falls in love with Christine and wants to possess her.

Ben Crawford (left, as Phantom) and Meghan Picerno (as Christine) in the play.  Photo: Broadway

Ben Crawford (left, as Phantom) and Meghan Picerno (as Christine) in the play. Image: Broadway

The work premiered in London (UK) in 1986 and hit Broadway in 1988. At the opening show, critic Frank Rich of New York Times The book is not perfect but still attracts the audience. In 2014, critic Charles Isherwood of Times said the work was particularly popular, even though hundreds of new musicals were constantly being staged. After 30 years, Ghosts in the theater grossed over $6 billion worldwide and over a billion dollars on Broadway alone. By 2021, the show will serve 130 million spectators, from 145 cities in 27 countries.

Ghosts in the theater may temporarily say goodbye to Broadway, but Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece will continue to fascinate audiences on the West End stage in London (UK) and many other places around the world. Chinese and Spanish versions are expected next year. And Cameron Mackintosh remains open to the possibility of the play returning to Broadway, when their financial situation improves.

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with songs composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics written by Charles Hart from the novel of the same name by Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe. Contrary to the evil specter look that has suggested to viewers in previous novels and movies, Andrew’s Phantom exudes sadness. In 2020, with theaters around the world closed, the Royal Albert Hall released their 2011 version for free.

Ha Thu (follow NY Times, Financial Times)


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