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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

As I sat in the very last row of the Majestic, mixed emotions rushed through my body as the lights began to dim. It felt like I was in middle school, seeing Phantom of the Opera for the first time. Excitement rushed through my body since I was watching a classic and iconic show. However, as excited as I was, there was a sense of disbelief as reality set in: I was watching one of the final performances of this show. After 35 years, Phantom of the Opera is closing its doors on April 16, 2023.

There is something magical and special about Phantom. Perhaps it’s the phenomenal music, or maybe it’s the marvelous effects and set design. Nevertheless, this show has become beloved by many. For me, this show has a nostalgic tie to it. It was one of the first professional shows that I saw. I felt like a little kid again when the chandelier began to rise from the stage with the infamous musical theme playing. The cast was nothing but outstanding. Every actor was passionate and did a wonderful job building the story. However, words cannot describe the performances of Emilie Kouatchou and Ted Keegan. Emilie Kouatchou, who played Christine Daae, serenaded the entire audience with ease as her vocals seemed to go higher than the sky. She is also the first black woman to play Christine Daae, making Broadway history. Ted Keegan, who was The Phantom, filled every corner of the room with his powerful and intimidating voice. As the story unfolds, the actors focus on whether fear can turn into love. This show has the audience question the ideas of love. Although love can be beautiful, it can also be harmful, which is what The Phantom realizes at the end of the show. 

Watching the show with me was my wonderful friend, Kelsi Maddock. Kelsi, 24, offered me the ticket and is one of the biggest fans of Phantom of The Opera that I know. She shared a little bit about her experience with watching the show: “It was so much fun! Since I just saw it in November, I tried to catch things I didn’t see before, for instance, when the Phantom appears during ‘Masquerade.’. It was really neat to kind of compare the two shows together. In November, I saw Ben Crawford play Phantom; and his Phantom was a lot darker whereas this time I saw Ted Keegan play Phantom. His was easier to feel sympathy towards. It was a much softer performance of a harsh character, and I liked the way that kind of changed my feelings toward the character. It was also my first time seeing Emilie Kouatchou as Christine Daae, and her vocals were phenomenal, especially in her performance of ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.’ I absolutely loved this show, and it’s so sad that it’s ending its 35-year run on Broadway as a result of COVID, but there’s no way it’s gone for good. It’s too brilliant of a production.”

As mentioned above, Phantom of the Opera is Broadway’s longest-running show. After thirty-five years and over 13,000 performances, this show has impacted the theater world in ways that will never be forgotten. However, all good things must come to an end. Like other shows, Phantom of the Opera suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and could not keep up with the production costs. Since Phantom of the Opera has been around for many years, it has become a reliable show, a staple. However, other staple shows, such as Wicked, Chicago, Hamilton, and The Lion King, recovered from the pandemic. It is sad to see this iconic show close its doors. However, I would rather see it close than suffer to stay open. The Majestic Theater, the home of Phantom of the Opera, is set to undertake renovations once it completes the final performance. Although the show is closing, I am sure this is not the last time we’ll see it.

PK Kennedy is an active member within Her Campus at Pace. They are a social media assistant and help oversee Her Campus at Pace’s Pinterest account and write weekly articles focusing on, but not limited to, local events, music, and film/television pieces. Outside of Her Campus, PK is a senior at Pace University (NYC) and is majoring in Communications and Media Studies with a double minor in Digital Marketing and Arts and Entertainment Management. Recently, PK has been delving into multiple social media and design platforms to further their knowledge about digital marketing. During this school year, and beyond graduation, they hope to continue to learn more about photoshop and video editing software. Beyond school, PK enjoys listening and discovering new music, enjoying a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, having hour-long conversations about Star Wars and/or Marvel. If not doing any of the items listed above, PK is most definitely “rotting” in bed and gaining more knowledge about astrology and rewatching their favorite movie/TV shows again.