Here’s a fun little story I never got around to posting about when it happened back at the end of January…
The Phantom of the Opera was set to celebrate its 27th anniversary on Broadway on January 26, with a big celebration after the show for the cast, crew, and staff, but with the impending Winter Storm Juno, all Broadway performances were canceled for the evening. Well, the blizzard (which was supposed to be the worst NJ and NYC had ever seen in this lifetime) fooled everyone and dropped only a few inches of snow on the city. Regardless, Phantom’s anniversary performance had been canceled.
A friend of mine runs the social networking accounts for Phantom, and he needed to photograph the (postponed) anniversary party after the show that Saturday evening. Since he’d now have to work on a weekend, his company arranged for him to receive two comp tickets to the performance rather than just show up at curtain call.
And that’s how I ended up sitting right under the glorious chandelier that falls onto the stage.
I had seen the show twice before from the nosebleeds of the balcony on high school field trips, but the seats we had for this anniversary performance were center orchestra, and the show is a lot more fun when you can actually see the stage without binoculars.
After the performance, we were ushered backstage where my friend photographed Norm Lewis and the other performers in costume. Then, everyone got out of costume and makeup, and dozens of pizzas were stacked onto tables stretching across the stage for a big party. There were speeches and toasts, and I ate a few slices of pizza (or maybe more than a few). At one point, I was chatting with a girl I thought must be someone’s daughter only to learn that she was the actress who plays Christine during the matinee performances…and then I cried in the corner because I realized I’m older than the star of the show.
Onstage at the Majestic Theatre in front of the infamous chandelier. (No, I didn’t airbrush the photo; that’s how youthful I look under stage lights.)
When the party was over, my friend and I exited the theatre by walking off the stage and through the house while the rest of the partygoers (cast, crew, and staff) exited through the stage door. We walked from the lobby into the foyer, and realized that the doors leading to the street were dead-bolted shut, as it was now several hours after the performance had ended. When we turned around to go back into the theatre, we found that the doors leading to the lobby had locked behind us.
We were trapped in the foyer of the Majestic Theatre.
We waited. And waited. And several minutes went by.
I thought surely we must be on camera and some security guard would come find us and set us free. But we continued to wait. And wait. And wait.
Literally, moments before we were about to call the police, a security guard for the theatre came strolling down the sidewalk. He looked just as surprised to see us trapped in the foyer as we felt to be trapped.
And with a turn of his key, we were set free.
I bought a soft pretzel (I guess the pizza didn’t fill me up) and headed home.
What a fun night.
Happy anniversary, Phantom!