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Phantom of the Opera Cast, Including David Cryer '58, Celebrates 23 Years on Broadway

Phantom of the Opera Cast, Including David Cryer '58, Celebrates 23 Years on Broadway

January 27, 2011

90149January 27, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — David Cryer, a 1958 graduate of DePauw University, and other members of the longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, are celebrating an unprecedented milestone.  With its 9,566th and 9,567th performances at the Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street) yesterday, Phantom became the first Broadway production ever to have run 23 years. (top photo, l-r: cast members George Lee Andrews and David Cryer; below right: Phantom cast with director Harold Prince -- photos by Peter James Zielinski)

In January 2006, the musical became the longest-running show ever on Broadway in  when it surpassed the then-record run of Cats. Since then, each performance has set a new longevity record. The closest currently-running show is the revival of Chicago, which reached 14 years in November 2010.

Cryer, who portrays Monsieur Firmin, has been part of the Broadway cast since January 2006. 90151Prior to that, he had performed the part in the musical's national tour since 1992.

Since its Broadway debut on January 26, 1988, Phantom "has grossed nearly $800 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history," notes Broadway World. "Total attendance is 14 million. Its international success -- equally staggering -- is represented by total worldwide grosses estimated at over $5 billion. This colossal figure makes Phantom the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world's highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.7 billion). Worldwide, over 65,000 performances have been seen by 100 million people in 27 countries and 144 cities."

Read more here.

David Cryer's other Broadway credits include Rutledge in 1776, Juan Peron in Evita, Ari in Ari, the Red Shadow in The Desert Song, and 33927Jude Scribner in Come Summer. Cryer had leading roles off-Broadway in The Fantasticks, The Streets of New York, Mademoiselle Colombe, and Making of Americans. His movie appearances include roles in Escape from Alcatraz and American Gigolo, and he has been seen on television's Law & Order, Dallas, Spenser: For Hire, Emergency! and  Wonder Woman, among other programs. For several years he was a featured performer on the daytime serials As The World Turns and Where The Heart Is.

In 2009, Cryer was presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from DePauw.  A summary -- including video clips -- may be accessed here.