Musical closes for sound system update
Broadway stalwart “The Phantom of the Opera” will go dark for four performances in August to accommodate the installation of a new digital sound system.Tech is installed at an estimated cost of $750,000. Investment reps producers’ confidence that the 20-year-old Gotham outpost of the tuner, which has grossed nearly $700 million in Broadway sales, can run well into the future. Mick Potter (“The Woman in White”) designed the surround sound system, which includes 155 speakers, a digital sound deck and a boosted number of mics. The London production of “Phantom,” which has been running since 1986, got the same upgrade in May. The Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner, helmed by Harold Prince and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, is one of the legit world’s biggest global hits, with producers estimating worldwide box office at more than $5 billion. Eight incarnations are running around the world, including a 95-minute version in Vegas. Tuner was one of the first to cultivate a global profile that continues to contribute to its enduring popularity. Changes in Broadway biz, including flexible pricing strategies that allow shows to take advantage of high-demand frames and weather fallow ones, also have helped keep the show afloat. The 2004 pic version and its national marketing campaign also gave sales a lift. In 2006, the New York production outpaced another Lloyd Webber musical, “Cats,” to become the longest-running show in Rialto history. Show has played more than 8,500 perfs so far. Final perf before the installation of the new sound system will be Aug. 23, with the production resuming Aug. 28.