The unmistakable sound of the organ signaled “the Phantom of the Opera is there,” and the chandelier rose again before a crowd of masked theatergoers.
“It still makes me cold because it’s just completely theatrical, and that’s what it’s all about for me,” composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber said.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer sat down with the composer ahead of the show’s opening.
“There have been wonderful things that have been filmed during the pandemic, and we’ve been able to watch them and share them, but nothing, nothing repeats or can replicate the live experience,” he said.
It was déjà vu for Lloyd Webber outside the Majestic Theatre on Friday night.
“It’s kind of extraordinary to think that there’s a red carpet for the show tonight,” he said.
The show debuted in 1988.
“It’s like it’s all opening again, you know, and in a way, it is because we’ve re-rehearsed the show completely from scratch like it’s a new production, new musical,” Lloyd Webber said.
Current cast members and “Phantom” alumni also hit the the red carpet.
“The fact that we’re getting to be at what feels like a brand new opening of the show that we love so much is really amazing for me,” said actress Sierra Boggess, a former Christine Daaé.
“It’s the first show my parents took me to see as a kid, so to be able to come back to watch it after playing the role of the Phantom on the road is just a dream come true,” said actor Derrick Davis.READ MORE:Campaign 2021: Early Voting Begins In New Jersey And New York City
“I think that the opening of Act II, ‘Masquerade,’ on those stairs and everyone in those beautiful exciting costumes, it’s just going to be a mind blower for everyone,” cast member Lindsay Roberts said.
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda also walked the red carpet, sporting the Phantom’s iconic mask.
“You’re not auditioning for the role, are you?” Gainer asked.
“No. No one wants to hear me sing that,” Miranda said.
Other audience members dressed the part, too. Kara Ritchie, from Ohio, and Melissa Muir, from Virginia, wore dresses resembling costumes from the show.
“For hers, the bow comes off,” Ritchie said. “Mine, there’s no crinoline under here, it’s all lace and fabric, so I can easily smush [to fit in the seat].”
Another theatergoer had a jacket with elaborate cross-stitching on the back that took about four years to make, and another had a purse autographed by the last cast.
Many in the audience Friday had seen the show before.
“Tonight marks my 30th time seeing it,” Muir said.
For others, it was their first ever Broadway show, but hopefully not the last.
“The city is dead without theater. That’s absolutely true. Without Broadway, there isn’t a New York,” Lloyd Webber said.
After the show, 44th Street was shut down for a massive block party to celebrate the reopening. Lloyd Webber himself even DJed.