OPINION: The Phantom of the Opera Should Not Be Leaving Broadway


Rey Renick, Reporter

On September 16th it was announced that Broadway’s longest running show, Phantom of the Opera, would be leaving after a 35 year reign. On  October 3rd at a press event it was revealed that a new musical called “Bad Cinderella” will be replacing it, with starring actress Linedy Genao spray painting the logo at a press event.

“Bad Cinderella” is a revamped musical of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original “Cinderella”, where she must now navigate a world of modern day beauty standards. Cinderella takes on the role as a misfit and rebellious goth with Prince Charming’s younger brother, Prince Sebastian, having a one-sided crush on her. 

After reading up on the entirety of the plot, I have many problems with this musical, and do not think it’s worthy of taking “Phantom”’s spot. The main problem is that the concept as a whole is very I’m-Not-Like-Other-Girls trope, which is an idea that originally started in 2012-2013 on Tumblr as a meme format that uplifted girls with more boyish and alternative styled hobbies, but also bashed girls with more girly and feminine interests. Although the musical does earn some points for tackling same-sex relationships and plastic surgery’s role in beauty, the overall concept feels incredibly elementary. 

Meanwhile “Phantom of the Opera” is a musical based on a French novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux, where a man haunting a Paris opera house becomes infatuated with a novice singer Christine Daaé who unwillingly becomes his muse. Even if someone did not personally enjoy the plot of “Phantom”, they’ll at least enjoy either its music, lyricism, set design or actors and actresses. “Phantom” is not lacking in any department whatsoever, which has earned it over 70 awards since its first showing on Broadway in 1988 until now. 

As a whole, it’s incredibly iconic. One of the most memorable things about it is the giant 1,500 lbs chandelier that falls every single show night at the climax of act 1. It drops a whole 48 feet, swinging from the ceiling over the audience and right into the stage. It has 48 bulbs and over 6,000 beads adorning it and has been dropped well over 10,000 times. Their set design is just as brilliant too, like in the song “The Phantom of The Opera”. It depicts Christine and The Phantom’s meeting in the depths of his lair, where after walking back and forth on a movable platform they then travel on stage through fog and mist on a boat, seamlessly. 

Paired with the absolute mastery of a design team, the actors/actresses make great use of it. Ramin Karimloo’s Phantom is a force to reckon with, specifically his rendition of “The Music of The Night”. In this song the Phantom lulls Christine to sleep, then sings of his undying love for her and wishes for her to abandon her current life for him. He perfectly captures his affection for Christine, and also the utter loneliness of knowing that he will never be able to have her. 

With a show like this that has so many moving pieces that fit together perfectly, it’s obvious that Bad Cinderella shouldn’t be the show to take Phantom’s place. Webber composed all of the music for “Phantom” and is also behind “Bad Cinderella”, so it’s just disappointing that the next Webber work to take the stage isn’t anywhere as fleshed out as “Phantom”. But I’m not looking for another “Phantom”, I’m just looking for a show that is more than just mediocre.