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Why the Longest Running Broadway Musical Has to Close

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

On the morning of Sept. 16, rumors started moving around the theater community that Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show on Broadway, was setting its closing date this winter. This rumor practically shocked the entire theater community. Phantom of the Opera has been on for so long that it’s hard to imagine Broadway without it. But nothing lasts forever,  and The New York Times was one of the first to confirm the rumor to be true. Phantom of the Opera will play its final performance in the Majestic Theater on Feb. 18, 2023.

So many people have been wondering why this record-breaking show has to close and the reason is simple: money. Every Broadway show has to maintain its weekly grosses in ticket sales so that they can pay back rent to the theater they are running in. Since reopening post-shutdown, Phantom’s ticket sales have been roughly around $500,000 – $900,000 per week, which is not enough to cover their weekly running costs. Weekly running costs include anything from paying for a billboard in Times Square to the salary of a stage manager, so in Phantom’s case, it didn’t help that their show is expensive to run.

Nobody asked for my opinion on the closure of Phantom, but I will give it anyway. Phantom of the Opera has never been my favorite musical. I don’t have nostalgic ties to it like I know a lot of theater fans do. Even as a big musical nerd, I am honestly fine with Phantom closing. I wasn’t overly shocked by the news, I really had no reaction to it. Phantom has clearly lived a full life in the theater, achieving what every show wishes to achieve.

Hi everyone, my name is Madison and I am currently a junior at Pace studying arts and entertainment management! Feel free to reach out to me on my socials :)