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‘Phantom of the Opera’ delays closing

Broadway's "Phantom of the Opera" has delayed its closing to April 16, producer Cameron Mackintosh has announced. The longest-running show in Broadway history, "Phantom" had previously set a closing date of Feb. 18.

Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Emilie Kouatchou as Christine in 'The Phantom of the Opera' on Broadway (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” has delayed its closing to April 16, producer Cameron Mackintosh has announced. The longest-running show in Broadway history, “Phantom” had previously set a closing date of Feb. 18.

According to the production, this will be the only extension at the Majestic Theatre, which has housed “Phantom” since its opening on Jan. 26, 1988. The venue “will then be closed for major renovations” by the Shubert Organization.

Ticket sales spiked following the initial closing announcement, which came on Sept. 16. In the week ending with Sept. 11 — prior to the closing notice — the show grossed $887,997. In the week ending with Sept. 25 (the first full week of sales after the closing notice), the show grossed $1,205,363.

This past week, ending Nov. 27, “Phantom” delivered its highest-grossing week ever, totaling $2,241,316.92.

The show’s average ticket price has also steadily increased. In the week ending Sept. 11, the average ticket price was $83.14. In the week ending with Sept. 25, this increased to $93.29. For the most recent reported week, ending with Nov. 27, the show’s average ticket price was $172.05 (more than double pre-closing announcement).

With the news of this extension, the production also announced an April 14 benefit performance. Proceeds will benefit several Broadway charities to be determined.

Directed by Harold Prince with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a book by Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe, lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Stilgoe, “Phantom” will celebrate its 35th anniversary in January. At the time of its April closing, the musical will have played 13,981 performances.

In a statement, Lloyd Webber said, “I am delighted that, after such an incredible reaction from audiences, ‘Phantom’ at the Majestic is extending. If only the theater wasn’t closing for a major refurbishment, we’d be there for an awful lot longer.”

“The response to the news that ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is finally going to end its record-breaking original Broadway run after 35 years has been as phenomenal as the show itself,” Mackintosh said in a statement. “We are all thrilled that not only the show’s wonderful fans have been snapping up the remaining tickets, but also that a new, younger audience is equally eager to see this legendary production before it disappears.”

“Phantom” features musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne and original music direction by David Caddick, with orchestrations by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber. The production includes scenic and costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge, sound design by Martin Levan and makeup design for The Phantom by Christopher Tucker.

The current cast includes Ben Crawford as The Phantom, Emilie Kouatchou as Christine, Jason Forbach as Raoul (Paul Adam Schaefer returns on Dec. 7 and John Riddle returns on Jan. 2), Nehal Joshi as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta Giudicelli, Maree Johnson as Madame Giry, Carlton Moe as Ubaldo Piangi and a rotating cast as Meg Giry (Sara Etsy returns from a leave of absence on Jan. 2). At certain performances, Julia Udine plays the role of Christine.

The ensemble features Giselle O. Alvarez, Polly Baird, Jessica Bishop, Janinah Burnett, Xiaoxiao Cao, Joseph DePietro, Kanisha Marie Feliciano, David Michael Garry, Chris Georgetti, Kelly Jeanne Grant, Satomi Hofmann, Ayaka Kamei, Ted Keegan, Kfir, Kelly Loughran, Scott Mikita, Greg Mills, Justin Peck, Patricia Phillips, Lindsay Roberts, Janet Saia, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Jeremy Stolle, Stephen Tewksbury, Carrington Vilmont, Jim Weitzer, Elizabeth Welch and Erica Wong.

“Phantom” features an orchestra of 27 members, the largest on Broadway, which performs under the supervision of Caddick.

“The Phantom of the Opera” is produced on Broadway by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group.