1 Year After the Final Phantom: A Look Back at Broadway’s Longest-Running Juggernaut | Playbill

Special Features 1 Year After the Final Phantom: A Look Back at Broadway’s Longest-Running Juggernaut

On the anniversary of the show's closing, look back at some of Playbill's deep-dive features on the history-making musical.

Company of The Phantom of the Opera Kayleen Bertrand

One year ago today, the curtain closed on Broadway's longest-running show after an astonishing 35-year long run. In that time, The Phantom of the Opera not only established itself as a Broadway staple and frequent favorite, but a historical landmark of the theatre industry, and by extension, of New York City.

Nearly four decades of its reign on Broadway warranted plenty of documentation of its legacy, and last year, Playbill had you covered on coverage of the mainstay musical up until—and including—its closing night. Now, we're looking back on the show and all of its glory by revisiting these features...admittedly wishing Phantom were somehow here again!

Click here to purchase Phantom merch from the Playbill Store

Phantom 101: Fun Facts and More

In these two features you'll find everything you never knew you needed to know about Phantom. First, we have a look back on some of their major milestone moments on Broadway. Then, the most common question regarding the logo's design is answered with several additional anecdotes about the show's early development...which included a lot of live animals and an actual rockstar in the titular role.

The monkey music box from Phantom of the Opera

Props and Costume Deep Dives

Though The Phantom of the Opera is renowned for a multitude of things (hence its success), perhaps one of the most stunning aspects of the show is its design, which was entirely conceived by Maria Björnson, who largely worked on operas. From the half-mask to the monkey box, Björnson created each iconic symbol that continues to live inside our minds. These two features share photos and sketches of them, along with in-depth explanations of the ideas behind them.

Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in The Phantom of the Opera.


A monument in the musical theatre canon, the closing of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway marked the end of an era. With these features, take a look back on all those who contributed to its long reign, including an interview with the show's (unexpected) final Phantom Laird Mackintosh, a gallery of every performer who ever played the Phantom and Christine, and stories from the red carpet of the closing performance, which brought alumni of the show by the dozens. (P.S. If you still haven't gotten your hands on a copy of the closing night Playbill, click here.)

Final cast, crew, and orchestra of Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera Matthew Murphy

Saying Goodbye

For the final performance, Playbill was able to send two writers to the invite-only affair. Read their emotional recap of the evening, then say your own goodbye (perhaps again) to Ruthie II, the Phantom chandelier, as she makes her final journey down from ceiling and out of the theatre. 

Think of us fondly until the next time we write about Phantom...because we're certainly still longing to hear the Music of the Night again!

Go Inside The Closing Performance of The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway

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