Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

Sunday evening, April 16, 2023, the curtain rose and fell on The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway for the final time.   The show ran for 35 years and nearly 14,000 performances, making it the longest running show in Broadway history by about 3,000 performances.  Its absence will leave a massive hole in the theater district, for both patrons and performers alike, particularly the large orchestra which accompanied the show every night.

I can't begin to pinpoint where my fascination with The Phantom of the Opera began.  This wasn't a show where I heard the music and fell in love with it, nor was it one where I saw the show regionally or on television before being able to attend a performance.  I think it largely came down to that iconic mask.

Regardless, when I finally got a trip to New York for my senior year gift,   was at the top of my list of go see.  And the Broadway performance was everything you could have wanted.  A gorgeous theater designed to look like the Grand Guignols of old.  A chandelier that really could hang over the audience.  And an impeccable cast.  

I was hooked.

I've seen the touring performance.  Got absorbed into the music of the sequel Love Never Dies, and sat through the film version of that fiasco.  I've got the signed poster, the sheet music, and the cds.  I've got a phantom mask.  One day, I'll get to sing Music of the Night in some capacity.

The show was ravishing in how it overwhelmed you and enveloped you, particularly when it was staged in the right environment.  It's not my favorite musical, but it's close.

So, I'm a little sad to see those footlights dim.  Hopefully a new version will tour and breathe a fresh life into the show once again.

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