By the numbers: 'Phantom of the Opera' is a juggernaut

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By the numbers: 'Phantom of the Opera' is a juggernaut

Phantom Chandelier
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Crew members prepare the chandelier for show time in the Lied Center for Performing Arts on Oct. 24. It takes 30 minutes to load the pyrotechnics needed before each performance. The chandelier has more than 6,000 crystals and 50 pyrotechnic elements to produce the five effects needed in each show.

With its central story of love and obsession, fantastical stage design and a famous chandelier, “The Phantom of the Opera” shattered theatrical box office records.

Attendance and grosses continued to grow as the musical juggernaut made its Lincoln debut at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Lied Center for Performing Arts Oct. 23. Already, “Phantom” has outperformed all past Lied performances. The show will play through Nov. 3, and tickets are available.

Bringing the show to the Lied required a number of renovations and improvements to the facility, in part to accommodate a 24-foot-tall set and a 1,500-pound chandelier with its accompanying 2,000-pound winch.

There are plenty more mind-boggling numbers, and here’s just a few:

  • 3 – Crew members focus solely on costumes. There are eight designated dressers during show time.

  • 4 – Stage managers working each day of production.

  • 7 – Tony Awards won in 1988, including Best Musical. The Tonys join a list of 70 major awards won by the musical.

  • 8 – Productions of “The Phantom of the Opera” currently being done around the world.

  • 16 – Trucks needed to move the show across North America on its tour, and number of shows performed in Lincoln over 13 days. Crew members said it used to take 20 semis, but they got better at packing over time.

The detailed costumes are minded by three crew members, and eight crew members work backstage to dress cast members during the performance.

  • 18 – Number of months the “Phantom of the Opera” sequel, “Love Never Dies,” played in London’s West End, 2010-2011. From initial idea to stage debut, it took nearly 20 years for Andrew Lloyd Webber to write “Love Never Dies,” but it didn’t live up to its predecessor’s success and never made a Broadway debut.

  • 19 – Permanent crew members who travel with the show.

  • 30 – Minutes it takes crew members to prepare the pyrotechnics in the chandelier prior to each show.

  • 31 – Years “Phantom of the Opera” has played on Broadway, making it the longest-running show on the Great White Way.

  • 35 – Local crew members hired for show run in each city.

Derrick Davis, who plays the Phantom, answers questions from the media Oct. 24 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

  • 65 – Company members, including cast and extras, who travel with the show.

  • 75 – Local stagehands needed to unload the 16 semitrailers and put the set together over three days. These stagehands return to take the set down and load it back up after its run.

  • 20,000 – Tickets sold for the Lincoln run so far, surpassing the Lied’s previous record of 16,000 tickets sold in 2018 for “Book of Mormon.”

  • 65,000 – Performances worldwide of the musical in 41 countries and 183 cities since its 1986 debut in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

  • 18.5 million – Attendance counted on Broadway.