What does London, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Budapest, South Africa and New York all have in common? All currently stage productions of the Phantom of the Opera! In 2011, the Phantom of the Opera in London celebrated it's 25th year annivesary at Her Majesty's Theatre but it has shown it's world wide appeal with productions taking place in 4 continents.
The Phantom of the Opera has been produced in 145 cities, in 27 countries around the world, including UK, US, New Zealand, Japan, Austria, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Korea, Denmark, Spain and Russia and has been translated into 15 languages.
The original 1986 production made stars of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. The current Phantom in the West End production is Earl Carpenter until 17th March and he will continue as the Phantom in the UK tour from October 2012. The current Christine is Portuguese actress Sophia Escobar.
On Broadway Phantom of the Opera celebrated it's 10,000th performance earlier this month on 11th February. It is still the longest running show in Broadway history and the performance was marked as a special benefit for The Actors Fund. In a tough market where only 30% of shows show a profit, Phantom of the Opera is a testament excellent marketing by the producers, where 68% of the audience are woman and 60% tourists with more than 40% of the audience having seen the show more than once before.
The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas has run for 7 years but will be leaving the specially built theatre The Venetian in September 2012.
Since it's beginning as a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux published in 1911, the Phantom of the Opera has been seen on the big screen twice making a star of Lon Chaney Snr as the Phantom in 1925 and Gerard Butler in 2004. Learn to Be Lonely’, a new song written for the movie, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2005 Oscars.
The good news for the UK theatre goer is that you can now see the Phantom of the Opera in a theatre near you. The UK tour kicks of at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and has spectacular new staging and design. The Phantom of the Opera UK tour will also be on in Manchester, Bristol, Dublin, Leeds, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Cardiff and Southampton.