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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 11:08 GMT
Phantom scores Broadway record
The Phantom of the Opera
Queues still form outside the New York theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera has become the second longest-running musical on Broadway.

The show completed its 6,681th performance at the Majestic Theatre on Wednesday night, knocking Les Miserables into third place.

The number one spot is held by Cats, another Lloyd Webber hit, which notched up 7,485 shows in 18 years.

Since its 1988 US opening, The Phantom of the Opera has been seen by 10 million people and won many awards.

It won seven Tony Awards the year it opened, including the prize for best musical.

The current show stars Hugh Panaro as the ghost who haunts the Paris Opera House.

The musical is based on the book by French author Gaston Leroux, which was first published in 1911.


It received poor reviews and only became popular when it was picked up as a serial in American newspapers and subsequently made into the original film in 1925.

Phantom of the Opera is also still running in Madrid, Budapest, Stuttgart, Japan and London, where it had it's world première in September 1986.

John Owen-Jones currently plays the Phantom in the UK show at Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End.

It celebrated its 7,000th West End performance last August.

A new big screen version, directed by Phone Booth's Joel Schumacher, is expected to be released sometime this year.

A relative unknown, Scottish actor Gerard Butler, will play the Phantom.

Singer Charlotte Church said she was offered a role - but refused the part after being told to lose weight.

Lloyd Webber: King of the stage
07 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
West End crisis 'near'
28 Feb 01  |  Entertainment
Phantom hits performance milestone
13 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Weight loses Church movie role
07 May 03  |  Entertainment

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