Wednesday, September 16, 2009

8,999 Plus One Donut Hole

8,999 Plus One Donut Hole

Tonight marks Broadway history as Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic The Phantom Of The Opera celebrates its 9,000th performance on Broadway. The production opened at Rialto's Majestic Theatre on January 26, 1988.

Even though I've seen The Phantom Of The Opera twice (three times if I count my 2007 visit to Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular), I've never seen it on Broadway. Is that heresy?

I first saw what is now the Great White Way's longest running show in London in 1988, as well as during its 1998 Los Angeles run when I was provided a free ticket.

As I've said before, I've never truly understood the lasting appeal of The Phantom Of The Opera. Some have said that it has essentially become a tourist attraction, while I view it as the very first entry level Broadway or West End show for the tens of millions who have seen one incarnation or another.

So in order to say I saw the show before it hits that magic 9,000 number tonight, as well as to finally scratch the last Broadway theatre off my list of venues I've never visited, I'm taking in today's matinee, which happens to be its 8,999th performance.

And as POTO fans gather for the evening's milestone performance, I'll be just a block away ... toasting the very first preview of Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts. While this latest import from Chicago's Steppenwolf most certainly won't go the distance of 9,000 performance, something tells me that it will be a whole lot more satisfying.

UPDATE (9.17.09): Imagine my surprise at yesterday's matinee for The Phantom Of The Opera when it was announced immediately prior to the performance that this would mark the 9,000th record setting milestone. I had read elsewhere, earlier, that #9,000 would occur that same evening.

Immediately after yesterday's matinee, countless television cameras and still photographers filled the aisles to capture the celebration as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Harold Prince and Gillian Lynne all appeared on stage to join in the festivities, with each delivering remarks. For his part, Webber announced that the sequel, Phantom: Love Never Dies will debut in London next spring and land on the Great White Way in November 2010.

Now that the dust has settled on yesterday's momentous occasion, I did some additional research. According to the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB), The Phantom Of The Opera had played 8,995 performances as of this last Sunday. Although the show is one of the few Broadway shows with a Monday performance, that one added to Tuesday's and the two on Wednesday only add up to 8,999, so my title of this piece is inaccurate as well.

Webber's Really Useful Productions indicates that the actual 9,000th performance comes this evening, but for some reason, the powers that be decided to celebrate at Wednesday's matinee.

So even though I got the photo opp yesterday, if you're seeing The Phantom Of The Opera at the Majestic on Thursday, September 17, you truly have the bragging rights to #9,000!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 27 October, 2009, Anonymous TaylorSwift said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 27 October, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

TaylorSwift, You once again have not observed the simple ground rules of Steve On Broadway by advertising ticket brokers here. Thus, your comments have been deleted.


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