Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera premiered at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in 1986. Since then, it has played to over 140 million people in 35 countries and been recorded by many different casts in assorted languages. Some fun facts:
• Michael Crawford starred as the original Phantom when it premiered in London’s West End. The show is now in its 32nd year there.
• Mr. Crawford reprised his lead role when the show opened in New York two years later. This past January, Phantom celebrated 30 years on Broadway.
• Colm Wilkinson originated the Phantom role in Toronto when it premiered at the newly restored Pantages Theatre (now the Ed Mirvish Theatre) in 1989. He starred there for 4-1/2 years, with the production running for ten.
• The 2004 film version of Phantom starred Gerard Butler.
• The 25th anniversary production performed at Royal Albert Hall in London in 2011 starred Canadian Ramin Karimloo and was relayed live to movie theatres around the world.