“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”, will truly be more than a tearful moving ballad in the coming months as The Phantom of the Opera leaves Broadway after its 35-year run. Arguably, few productions barely come close to the divine nature of The Phantom of the Opera or can claim they have shaped the atmosphere of Broadway and New York City since the 1980s. Unfortunately, the Broadway production revealed the date for its closing act to be February 18th, 2023, after disclosing to the public that audience numbers have not been matching the seats they expected to fill after reopening with the rest of Broadway after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, The Phantom of the Opera is not the only large-scale show leaving Broadway this coming 2023 winter with, Beetlejuice, Dear Evan Hansen, and Into the Woods all following Phantom’s lead.
The opera has beguiled fans with its opulent orchestra numbers and stunning stage designs. It is impossible to forget the first time you witness the overture’s crescendo transforming the decrepit chandelier back in time to the golden age of the French opera. Additionally, there remains to be a three-decade-old tradition of many viewers of the drama, overlooking the murderous tendencies of the Phantom and ultimately rooting for him to woo Christine Daaé, rather than Raoul, who despite being a well-balanced match for the elegant singer, is usually seen as a duller character. I guess toxic tendencies for relationship choices do not skip generations.
Needless to say, I am unwell with the arrival of this news. It’s odd for an eight-year-old to fall so deeply in love with a Broadway show, it’s even weirder that this eight-year-old saw this in Las Vegas. Alas, I was past the “Point of No Return.” However, I have some good news for those who were not mentally prepared for this announcement. Although it does not exhibit the same exuberance, The Phantom of the Opera movie starring Gerald Butler and Shameless lead Emmy Rossum the movie satisfies the musical lover with its extravagant costume design and unique portrayal of the Phantom portrayed by Butler. The movie dives further into the world of the French theater and builds new set designs that simply cannot be displayed on Broadway’s stage. Though it may not have the transformative directing newer productions have exhibited over the world, the 2004 film will forever be one of the most unique Broadway production adaptations.
Be that as it may, there is no doubt in my mind that this is not the last we have seen of the infamous Phantom! Although the North America tour dates have yet to be revealed, I would imagine they will not be long after the Broadway production’s closing. And if that is not enough to lift your spirits, Cats, another Andrew Lloyd Webber show, left Broadway in the year 2000, only to return to the New York City stage in 2016. If Cats can return to Broadway, any show can. During this intermission, we must “Learn to be lonely. Life can be lived, life can be loved alone.”