The Phantom of the Opera, the longest running musical in Broadway history, is to have its final curtain call in February, after a 35-year run.
Andrew Lloyd-Webber's production has been staged over 13,000 times in New York, but post-pandemic pressures mean it will close after celebrating its 35th anniversary in February next year. It took the crown for longest running musical in the city in 2006, after overtaking Cats.
The pandemic saw theatres closed, and bosses have been unable to recover audience levels seen before the onset of Covid-19, so have made the decision to end the run.
The Phantom of the Opera is an expensive production, involving hundreds of staff, and elaborate set designs. Each production uses 250kg of dry ice, ten smoke machines, and 281 candles.
Since theatres reopened, revenues have dropped to around $850,000 a week, prompting the show to end its record-breaking run.
Based on a French novel written in 1910, Phantom follows the story of a Soprano singer at the Paris Opera House and her relationship with a musical 'Phantom' who lives somewhere in the building. Songs include Masquerade, The Music of the Night, Angel of Music, and All I Ask of You.
Officials claim the musical has been performed to "over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages".
They also claim that box office returns for the musical are higher than any other film or play in history, including Titanic, ET, Star Wars and Avatar.
In the UK, the Phantom of the Opera is the second-longest running show in London's West End, after Les Miserables, having run since 1986.