Ever wonder which of the Great White Way's shows have enjoyed the longest runs? Look no further than Playbill, which has published a rather lengthy list of all the shows that have made it past 800 performances (in other words, a minimum of nearly two years), a remarkable achievement in itself.
Naturally, The Phantom Of The Opera is the all-time longest running production, clocking in at 7973 performances last Sunday. But four of the other top ten spots are also filled with current running shows: #6: Beauty And The Beast (5305 performances), #7: Rent (4537 performances), #8: the revival of Chicago (4290 performances) and #10: The Lion King (3922 performances). Six other current shows have already eclipsed the 800 barrier with two more within spitting distance.
The column also lists Off-Broadway's longest running hits, as well as the longest runs in Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Toronto and of course London, where after 54 continuous years, The Mousetrap continues to hold the world's record with over 20,900 ongoing performances.
A sidenote: Just because a show continues to run doesn't necessarily mean it should. I think Disney is doing itself a favor by finally pulling the plug on Beauty And The Beast this summer. It was long past its prime a couple years ago. It's also beyond me how The Phantom Of The Opera continues to march on (I thought it was showing its wear ten years ago). And as for that West End world record? Well, let's just say that when I decided to check it out a couple years ago, I was shocked; I didn't realize that a production could be moldy and stale at the same time.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).