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"The Phantom of the Opera" will close in 2023 after 35 years on Broadway, according to its website.
The drama by Andrew Lloyd Webber opened at the Majestic Theatre in January 1988.
The musical drama became the longest-running show in Broadway history in January 2006.
"The Phantom of the Opera," written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, premiered at the Majestic Theatre in New York City on January 26, 1988.
The musical is based on French author Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel of the same name.
In a statement to CBS, the musical's producer Cameron Mackintosh said "it has been an unparalleled honour to have presented the longest-running musical in Broadway's history," adding that the show is "legendary."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production struggled to bounce back after being forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
A message on the show's official website says that tickets are on sale for performances through January 22, 2023, with the final block of tickets going on sale "shortly."
Michael Crawford, who played the original Phantom in 1988, was all smiles during rehearsals for the Broadway opening.
Crawford originated the role of the Phantom in London's West End, which is known for its theater culture, before joining the Broadway cast, Playbill writes.
Andrew Lloyd Webber joined the cast onstage for a curtain call on January 9, 2006 —the same night the show surpassed "Cats" as the longest longest-running show in Broadway history.
The score for "Cats," which is currently the fourth longest-running show of all time, was also written by Lloyd Webber, according to Broadway's official website.
The same night, actors who played the musical's titular character joined together in costume for a performance.
An assembly of actresses who played the lead character Christine Daaé were also present, per Playbill, with both groups taking their bows onstage.
At the 25th anniversary of the production's Broadway premiere, Hugh Panaro and Sierra Boggess sang their hearts out as the Phantom and Christine.
Panaro is one of the few actors to play both the Phantom and Raoul in the Broadway production, the New York Theater Guide writes. He was cast as Christine's love interest Raoul in 1991 and invited to play the title role in 1999, a part he would play on and off until 2014.
In May 2014, Norm Lewis became the first Black actor to play the Phantom on Broadway (and only the third Black actor to take on the role worldwide).
Lewis, who took over for Panaro, told CBS Mornings in 2014 that it was emotional for him to step into the role.
" ... I feel very honored, and I hope that I make not only everyone who's involved proud, but hopefully this will open up a lot of doors for people of color."
Broadway's first Christine, Sarah Brightman, returned to the stage to celebrate the musical's 30th anniversary at the Majestic Theatre in 2018.
Lloyd Webber wrote "The Phantom of the Opera" during his marriage to Brightman, who originated the role on London's West End before continuing with the Broadway cast, per her website.
When "The Phantom of the Opera" re-opened in October 2021, the audience was given masks of their own to wear during the performance.
"New York loves the arts. New York loves Broadway. New York loves 'Phantom,'" New York Senator Schumer said in a pre-show address, per Variety. "We must never forget that the arts are a great economic engine for New York."
The show's most iconic prop, the chandelier, also returned to audiences in 2021. The glow from the large light illuminated the theater's intricate architecture.
Because the chandelier is a moving piece of the musical's set, its dramatic rise to the ceiling at the beginning of the show served as a symbol for the post-pandemic return of Broadway.
Emilie Kouatchou starred as the first Black Christine in the musical in 2022.
NBC reports that Kouatchou unsuccessfully auditioned for the production twice before getting cast as an understudy. She told the outlet in February that the rejection served a larger purpose in her journey.
"Honestly, this was the perfect time for something like this to happen, even though it had been quite a long time. There have been so many different Black women that could have played Christine," she said. "We're in a period of intense change in this industry, and I'm just happy that I could be a part of that change."
Read the original article on Insider