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This Day in Pop Culture for October 9

Phantom of the Opera

1986: The Phantom Drops the Chandelier

The Phantom of the Opera opened on this day in 1986 in London’s West End. With music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart, the musical is based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux about Christine, a beautiful opera singer who becomes the obsession of a mystery man. The musical won the 1986 Olivier Award as well the Tony Award in 1988 for Best Musical. Michael Crawford play the disfigured and masked man who lives underneath the Paris Opera House. He won both awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Phantom has become Broadway’s longest running musical and the West End’s second longest after Les Misérables. Joel Schumacher directed a film version of the musical in 2004 that starred Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver and Miranda Richardson. In 2010, Webber along with Ben Elton, Frederick Forsyth and Glenn Slater created a sequel to the musical called Love Never Dies where the Phantom secretly invites Christine to Coney Island to perform at a new attraction. In ran for over 17 months at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End with plans to open on Broadway but was later cancelled.


  • 1940: John Lennon (singer)
  • 1943: Mike Peters (cartoonist)
  • 1952: Sharon Osbourne (TV host)
  • 1953: Tony Shalhoub (actor)
  • 1954: John O’Hurley (actor)

  • 1964: Guillermo del Toro (film director)
  • 1969: Steve McQueen (film director)
  • 1975: Sean Lennon (singer)
  • 1996: Bella Hadid (model)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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