Connect with us


Andrew Lloyd Webber Dedicates Final ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ Show To Late Son

Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose renowned musicals officially earned him EGOT status in 2018, dedicated the final Broadway performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Sunday to his late son, Nicholas Lloyd Webber.

“Cameron’s done a fantastic job tonight,” Lloyd Webber said, referring to the show’s producer, Cameron Mackintosh, when he spoke onstage after the show. “I would like to start with … I haven’t really prepared anything. I hope you don’t mind if I dedicate this performance to my son, Nick.”

Lloyd Webber told HuffPost in March that his son was “critically ill” with stomach cancer. The composer missed the opening night of his new Broadway musical, “Bad Cinderella,” to be with his son. Nick died in a south-central England hospital two days later.

“His whole family is gathered together and we are all totally bereft,” the 75-year-old said in a statement to The Associated Press at the time. “Thank you for all your thoughts during this difficult time.”

The closing performance of “Phantom,” meanwhile, was reportedly attended by famous fans including Gayle King, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Glenn Close. The musical spent 35 years on Broadway, only for declining post-pandemic profits to draw the curtains for good on the costly production.

“Over the years, the number of good weeks at the box office started to shrink,” Mackintosh told Variety earlier this month. “Some of the really bad weeks, we lost a lot of money, particularly in New York.”

He added that it took “a $1 million week at the box office” to have “Phantom” break even and that it was “losing money every week” toward the end. However, Mackintosh did predict the musical would eventually return: “All the great musicals do.”

“Phantom” was the longest-running show on Broadway and navigated several recessions, wars and cultural changes since its opening in 1988. Based on Gaston Leroux’s novel, it centers on a masked composer who haunts the Paris Opera House — and falls in love with a young soprano.

The musical’s Broadway production has drawn more than 20 million theatergoers and grossed more than $1 billion, according to NBC News. Lloyd Webber, who recently told “NBC Nightly News” host Lester Holt there’s nothing “as theatrical” as “Phantom,” certainly takes his work seriously.

In a more playful move, Lloyd Webber said in 2021 that he hated the movie adaptation of his “Cats” musical so much that he got his first dog — and even convinced an airline he needed it as a therapy dog.

“I … said I need him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” he told Variety. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical ‘Cats.’”