I’ll be doing the weekend threads. I’ve had musicals on my mind today. Showtunes have been coming in and out, so, I’m gonna give you some of my favorite musical of all time – Phantom of the Opera. I love this musical. I have worn out the CD TWICE of the original recording.
I’ve seen the show in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Los Angeles. There is no other Phantom for me than Michael Crawford – the rest are just pretenders…LOL
The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux.
The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator, but withdrew due to illness after some initial work on a single song, “Masquerade”. The central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.
The Phantom of the Opera opened in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (in the title role) won the 1986 Olivier and 1988 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. It is the longest-running Broadway show by a wide margin (celebrating its 10,000th performance on Broadway on February 11. 2012), the second longest-running West End musical, and the third longest-running West End show overall.
With total worldwide box office receipts of over $5.1 billion (£3.5 billion), including a record-setting Broadway gross of US $845 million, Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time and the most financially successful theatrical show in history. It had been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities in 27 countries by 2011, the most successful entertainment project in history.
Phantom began previews at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End on September 27, 1986 under the direction of Hal Prince, then opened on October 9. It was choreographed by Gillian Lynne and the sets were designed by Maria Björnson, with lighting by Andrew Bridge. Michael Crawford starred in the title role with Sarah Brightman as Christine and Steve Barton as Raoul. The production, still playing at Her Majesty’s, celebrated its 10,000th performance on 23 October 2010, with Lloyd Webber and the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, in attendance. It is the second longest-running musical in West End (and world) history behind Les Miserables, and third overall behind The Mousetrap and Les Miz.