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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Phantom of the Opera Musical Surpasses Record

The BBC is reporting that Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history at the Majestic Theatre on Monday night.

The 7,468th performance of the award-winning show in New York overtook the record set by Cats, another of Lord Lloyd-Webber's shows.

The 57-year-old said he was finding the "overwhelming" fact hard to take in.

The musical, which premiered in London in 1986, has been seen by more than 80m people worldwide.

The show was premiered two years earlier at London's Her Majesty's Theatre.

"There is no formula for success in musical theatre. It's just one of those things - it happened," he told BBC News 24.

"So I don't really know...I think it's a primal tale, it's highly romantic. I think most people feel there's something about themselves that they'd like to alter in their physical appearance and perhaps they relate to the phantom for that reason.

The show's producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh said: "The musical is a kind of beauty-and-the-beast story. It appeals to everyone because it is about an impossible love, which I think many of us have had."

'Extraordinary' feat

The musical is also the most successful entertainment venture of all time, with worldwide box office takings of more than $3.2bn (£1.8bn).

This greatly exceeded the $1.2bn (£670m) taken by Titanic, the world's highest-grossing movie.

Over 65,000 performances of Phantom of the Opera have been staged in 119 cities in 24 countries.

Read the rest of this cool news here.

On a related note, the Mighty Marching Bees of Brookville High School
played selections from this musical in this year's halftime show. I have to say that I was not really enthusiastic when they first announced the musical selections. Being a band geek myself from way back, and not initially being a fan of the musical, I could not see how this type of operatic music would make a good marching show, but the kids were awesome and I was hooked!

I am now a hardcore Phantom convert. And for those of you bemoaning the fact that Broadway is a fair ways away from Central Virginia, rent the 2004 movie starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. It will hold you spellbound and you will quickly understand how this musical has become the longest running show on Broadway.


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