The final curtain came down Sunday on New York’s production of The Phantom of the Opera, ending Broadway’s longest-running show.
According to ABC, the production closed with thunderous standing ovations, champagne toasts and gold and silver confetti bursting from its famous chandelier.
ABC writes that it was show No. 13,981 at the Majestic Theatre and it ended with a reprise of “The Music of the Night” performed by the current cast, previous actors in the show — including original star Sarah Brightman — and crew members in street clothes.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, it adds, took to the stage last in a black suit and black tie and dedicated the final show to his son, Nick, who died last month after a protracted battle with gastric cancer and pneumonia. He was 43.
“When he was a little boy, he heard some of this music,” Lloyd Webber said. Brightman, holding his hand, agreed: “When Andrew was writing it, he was right there. So his son is with us. Nick, we love you very much.”
Producer Cameron Mackintosh gave some in the crowd hope they would see the Phantom again, and perhaps sooner than they think.
“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,” he said. “So it’s only a matter of time.”
The musical — a fixture on Broadway since opening on January 26, 1988 — has weathered recessions, war, terrorism and cultural shifts. But the prolonged pandemic may have been the last straw: It’s a costly musical to sustain, with elaborate sets and costumes as well as a large cast and orchestra. The curtain call Sunday showed how out of step Phantom is with the rest of Broadway but also how glorious a big, splashy musical can be.