Cameron Mackintosh

Cameron Mackintosh speaks about Phantom closing on Broadway

Following the news on Friday that The Phantom of the Opera is to close on Broadway after 35 years, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the producer of the show, has issued a statement.

Cameron Mackintosh said: “As a producer you dream that a show will run forever. Indeed, my production of Andrew’s Cats proudly declared for decades ‘Now and Forever.’ Yet ‘Phantom‘ has surpassed that show’s extraordinary Broadway run. But all shows do finally close, and after considerable discussion between The Shuberts, The Really Useful Group, Andrew and myself, we concluded that the right time for ‘Phantom‘ was after the show’s 35th birthday, on February 18 – a double celebration of ‘Phantom’s‘ phenomenal success. Gaston Leroux’s opera ghost may be disappearing for now, but there is no doubt that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece will continue to enchant audiences in London and around the world – and one day will return to Broadway.”

Mackintosh also spoke to the New York Times (see link below), and said: “You don’t want to run a great show into the ground. It’s always been one of my mantras throughout my long career: There’s an art to closing a show, as well as opening one.”

Phantom has struggled to attract sufficient audiences to counter its heavy running costs (at nearly $1 million a week, it’s one of the most expensive shows to run on Broadway), but Mackintosh is loathe to only blame Covid for the closure. “I don’t think it’s just the pandemic — I think it would be wrong to say that. The world has changed. The pandemic was a catalyst, but now suddenly the West is realizing that the whole situation which everyone let drift with Russia, and to a point with China, has changed the whole order, and we’re in the middle of discovering where it’s going to go. And the theater isn’t immune from that.”

Mackintosh is also in a celebratory mood about Phantom’s impressively long run on Broadway, saying that the decision to close the show led him to be both “sad and celebrating”, and that “it’s an extraordinary achievement, one of the greatest successes of all time. What is there not to celebrate about that? When I started, a year to two years was considered a good run.”

The Broadway production opened on 26 January 1988 and is the longest-running show ever on Broadway.

Phantom in London is the West End’s third longest-running show, behind The Mousetrap and Les Miserables. It continues to play in London at Her Majesty’s Theatre, soon to be renamed His Majesty’s Theatre following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Book tickets to The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London

Links:
New York Times

📷 Main photo: Cameron Mackintosh. Courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, Photo by Rii Schroer


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