To quote Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” “and the money kept rolling in!”
After The Post first reported on Friday that the composer’s “The Phantom of the Opera” would close on Broadway this winter after 35 years, the show took in $2 million in ticket sales by 8 p.m., producer Cameron Mackintosh told The Post.
“The hills are alive with the sound of the music of the night!,” Mackintosh said on a phone call from London.
The producer is pleased the box office boom and outpouring of affection from fans around the world, even though The Post scuttled his announcement plans (the news was set to drop next week.)
Still, “Phantom” is definitely coming to an end in New York on Feb. 18, shortly after a lavish bash for its 35th anniversary.
“Everyone thinks these shows can go on forever, but you can’t run a big show at these margins anymore,” the producer said, adding that the pre-pandemic running cost of “Phantom,” $800,000, has ballooned to $950,000 today. And that increase arrives during an extremely challenging time for Broadway.
“The 35-year run is even more miraculous when you consider how huge it is,” Mackintosh said.
“There comes a tipping point in the life of any show,” he added. “The number of losing weeks was rising even before COVID.”
This might not be the last you see of the Phantom and Christine Daae. The musical could eventually return to Broadway in a different form, the producer said.
“I’m sure ‘Phantom’ will come back at some point,” he said. “After I took ‘Les Miz’ off, it came back twice!”
At more than 13,000 performances since “Phantom” opened on Jan. 26, 1988 at the Majestic Theatre, its home to this very day, it’s the longest running show on Broadway. Next in line is “Chicago,” which Mackintosh noted, is much cheaper to run.
Despite “Phantom,” an iconic Broadway musical, ending its storied run in February, the British producer feels confident in a prosperous future for Broadway and the West End. Eventually.
“The encouraging thing is that there is still a terrific resilience and an insistence to come to shows,” said Mackintosh, whose shows in London include “Phantom” (it’s doing well there, he said), “Hamilton,” “Les Miserables” and “Mary Poppins.”
“It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but people are turning up!”