“The reason it is sold out is because it’s coming off, absolutely,” Mackintosh said. “We know that one of the reasons that it’s doing it is because this is your last chance to see the great show.”
Among the recent patrons: Lucas Perez, a 37-year-old smoke shop worker from Manalapan, N.J., who bought a pair of tickets as soon as the closing was announced. He had seen the show twice before — once as an elementary school student, and once as an adult — but wanted to bring his mother, who had never been. They went in mid-October.
“It felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend, to someone I’ll never see again,” Perez said. “I was very nostalgic the whole time. There’s something about the experience of ‘Phantom’ that other shows don’t have.”
Featuring soaring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Phantom” is a Gothic melodrama about a masked music lover who haunts the Paris Opera House and becomes fixated on a young soprano. The Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince, is a large-scale spectacle, with a 27-person orchestra and a famously crashing chandelier, emblematic of an earlier era of hyper-romantic musical theater. In 1988, the year the show opened, it won seven Tony Awards, including the one for best musical.
Christina DiCillo, a 31-year-old Queens resident who works in the advertising department at the website TheaterMania, is a “Phan” — what the show’s superfans call themselves — who has seen the show 46 times so far, and hopes to hit 50 before it closes. She and her twin sister saw a touring production of the show when they were growing up in Buffalo; now they have each seen it repeatedly in multiple locations. (Christina has seen it in London, Las Vegas and South Korea, among other places.)
“I feel bad for people that are just discovering it now,” she said. “The music always gets me, and when I’m there I’m transported. I keep thinking, ‘Maybe this time is the time it won’t feel as magical,’ but every time the chandelier rises you get the chills down your spine. I see a lot of Broadway shows for fun, and some of them are better and some of them are worse, but that’s one I know I’m going to love every time.”
The Broadway run has been seen by 19.9 million people and has grossed $1.3 billion; at the time of its closing it will have had 13,981 performances. According to the production, it has employed about 6,500 people, including 400 actors.
This content was originally published here.