In order to properly celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of musical theatre’s most influential masterworks, cinemas around the globe are screening a Royal Albert Hall production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”
When you start to crunch the numbers involved with “Phantom,” the figures are astounding. Currently, the show has been seen by over 100 million audience members. Let’s say, hypothetically, that each ticket (on a conservative estimate) sells for $50. You do the math. Currently, “The Phantom of the Opera” is playing on Broadway as well as in London’s famed West End. The typical shelf life of a Broadway musical is a few months, at best. For a production to last a year? That’s impressive. To stay in the limelight for 25 years? That’s beyond belief.
Astoundingly, that seems to be on par for a typical Andrew Lloyd Webber effort. Almost all of his musical productions have become Tony Award-winning giants. Maybe you’ve gotten a chance to see “Cats”? Yeah, that was him. “Evita”? Yeah, that too. In order to properly celebrate “The Phantom of the Opera,” we also really do need to celebrate Andrew Lloyd Webber. It takes a visionary mind to produce something as monumental as “Phantom.” Moreover, it takes an astounding amount of courage to pour one’s self into such a mammoth undertaking, knowing full well that it could become a notorious flop.
Since it’s debut, “Phantom” has played over 9,800 shows. Personally, I’m confident that it has at least another 10,000 in store. Hats off to you, Mr. Webber.