Tuesday, January 10, 2006


That was the magic number to become the longest running show in Broadway history. Last night, "The Phantom of the Opera" surpassed another Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musical, "Cats", to claim the top honor.

In June of 1997, when "Cats" reached the top spot, I sent an email to some of my friends...mourning the fact that it had surpassed "A Chorus Line". I'm glad something with a plot and lack of prancing kitties finally overtook it. I would have preferred it be "Les Misérables", in my opinion...the greatest musical ever, but I'll settle for the phantom's dethroning of the felines.

Below is the list of top 15 longest running shows:

1."The Phantom of the Opera"7486
3."Les Misérables"6680
4."A Chorus Line"6137
5."Oh! Calcutta!" (Revival)5959
6."Beauty and the Beast"4816
7."Miss Saigon"4097
9."Chicago" (Revival)3803
10."42nd Street"3486
11."The Lion King"3434
13."Fiddler on the Roof"3242
14."Life With Father"3224
15."Tobacco Road"3182

Red = Still Currently Running

I'm sure the Disney bigwigs crave that top spot. But...here's the sobering news for them. The Beast, Belle, and all the gang must rack up an additional 6 1/2 years of performances after producer Cameron Macintosh finally decides to shutter "The Phantom of the Opera". Since señor phantom is still going strong...I don't see that happening any time soon. Sorry Mickey. It'll be a loooooooooong time before you can call yourself the king of old Broadway.

For now, congrats to the new king: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Let's hope the actors don't party too hard tonight...they still have performance 7,487 to look forward to...and 7,488...and 7,489...

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