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'Phantom of the Opera' Makes Majestic Theater Magic


You know a show has proven its longevity when you find mom’s vintage souvenir Phantom of the Opera tee with a an early '80s off-the-shoulder neck and an old scrunchie bunching the extra material together on one side, and then ask Grandmom about it and she starts reminiscing about her first time.

Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 9,000th performance Sept. 17, creating a new milestone for what was already the longest-running play on Broadway. As noted by BroadwayWorld.com, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and director Harold Prince were at the Majestic Theater to celebrate a show that has already earned the honor of the "most successful entertainment venture of all time."

It is rare for a show to survive the stage for a long period of time, let alone continue to do so while captivating audiences and critics to the point of record-breaking success, including seven Tony Awards. Perhaps it’s the inelastic story line that leaves impressions on an audience of all ages; perhaps it’s the element of magic combined with the heart-wrenching love triangle; or, according to the little girl I overheard in the theater’s ladies room, perhaps it’s the mystery of how they make that epic chandelier fall.

Like most timeless shows, there is something for everyone, and somehow when you leave the theater you always feel like you want to go back. And if you do, there is always something new to discover. The music alone pulls you in, and – like the 2004 film adaptation – it just makes you want to be back in the theater, where you see and hear The Phantom of the Opera the way it is meant to be seen and heard.

I hope that one day our children will find our vintage Phantom tees, after which they will still be able to take a family trip to the Majestic Theater to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway...or maybe to see its sequel.

Pictured: Director Harold Prince, actor John Cudia, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreographer Gillian Lynne and actor Ryan Silverman (Photo: Getty Image)

--Ashley Johncola

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