The Phantom Of The Opera is no longer in New York – and has taken its final bow after a record-breaking 35-year run on Broadway.
The show, which tells the story of a disfigured phantom who haunts a Paris opera house and falls in love with a singer there, was Broadway’s longest-running show, and ended its last performance to a rapturous standing ovation and gold confetti.
Members of the current – and previous – cast stood on stage at the end of the final performance in New York on Sunday alongside writer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his production collaborator Cameron Macintosh, to sing a reprise of The Music Of The Night.
Speaking to the audience in the Majestic Theatre, which was filled with the great and good of theatreland, Lloyd Webber dedicated the final show to his son Nick, who passed away from cancer last month at the age of 43.
“When he was a little boy, he heard some of this music,” he said.
Sarah Brightman, the original Christine and Lloyd Webber’s former wife, added: “When Andrew was writing it, he was right there. So his son is with us. Nick, we love you very much.”
Macintosh addressed the rumours that the show could make a return in the future, and said: “The one question I keep getting asked again and again – will the Phantom return?
“Having been a producer for over 55 years, I’ve seen all the great musicals return, and Phantom is one of the greatest.
“So it’s only a matter of time.”
There were also video presentations from previous actors in the show, while the stalls were filled with former Phantoms, Christines and Raouls, alongside the likes of Glenn Close and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
By the time it had closed, there had been 13,981 performances of the show.
Lloyd Webber said on Saturday that the show “probably” cost around £800,000 a week to run, and had a large orchestra and cast, as well as elaborate costumes and sets which pushed costs up.
The 75-year-old added that, unlike Macintosh, he doesn’t know if it will ever return to New York, saying he is “only the composer”.
The closure leaves Lloyd Webber with one show running on Broadway – his updated production of the hastily closed West End musical Cinderella, now called Bad Cinderella.
Chicago now becomes Broadway’s active longest-running show, followed by Disney’s The Lion King.
The Phantom Of The Opera still runs in the West End in Her Majesty’s Theatre, which will be renamed in honour of the king over coronation weekend to reflect the new monarch.