Friday, January 06, 2006

Broadway gets a new long-running champion on Monday evening, Jan. 9 when The Phantom of the Opera plays its 7,486th performance to become the longest-running show in Broadway history.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will shatter the record held by current champ, Cats, which was also written by Lloyd Webber and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Mackintosh is also the producer of Les Misérables, the third-longest-running show.

Since it opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on January 26, 1988, Phantom has grossed nearly $600 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. Total attendance is at 11 million. It has achieved a total worldwide box office gross of $3.2 billion, with worldwide attendance of more than 80 million people. On Jan. 26, Phantom will become the only production in Broadway history to celebrate its 18th birthday.

Phantom has played the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center four times in 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2004.

Here is a list of Broadway's longest-runs, as reported by Internet Broadway Database:

Production Number of Performances
1. The Phantom of the Opera 7,486 (and counting)
2. Cats 7,485
3. Les Misérables 6,680
4. A Chorus Line 6,137
5. Oh! Calcutta! (revival) 5,959
6. Beauty and the Beast 4,812 (and counting)
7. Miss Saigon 4,092
8. Rent 4,034 (and counting)
9. Chicago (revival) 3,812 (and counting)
10. 42nd Street (original production) 3,486

- Michael K.

Source: League of American Theatres and Producers

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