The 7 Longest-Running Broadway Shows You Don’t Want to Miss

On April 16, 2023, before a packed invitation-only audience, the iconic chandelier at The Phantom of the Opera descended onto the stage at Broadway’s Majestic Theater for the final time. This marked the conclusion of a remarkable run spanning 13,981 performances over 35 years, setting a record unlikely to be surpassed for at least a decade.

The success of the Broadway production of Phantom was nothing short of extraordinary. Over its three-and-a-half-decade tenure, it entertained over 20 million spectators. With a gross of $1.36 billion, it outperformed major blockbuster films like Frozen, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Skyfall, as reported by The New York Daily News.

Despite enduring Broadway shutdowns due to union strikes, the 9/11 attacks, numerous blizzards, and an 18-month hiatus during the pandemic, Phantom ultimately succumbed to inflation and a slow post-COVID recovery in audience attendance. The Majestic Theater is now undergoing a much-needed multi-million dollar renovation in preparation for its centennial celebration in 2027.

Will there be another record-breaker like Phantom? Only time will reveal the answer. However, several contenders are poised to take the spotlight.

Chicago (revival): With nearly 10,500 performances under its belt, Chicago’s revival, boasting a star-studded cast over its 26-year run, shows no signs of slowing down as Broadway’s longest-running show.

The Lion King: Disney’s enduring musical, now in its 25th year on Broadway, continues to dominate the box office, consistently grossing over $2 million weekly and holding the record for the largest one-week take.

Wicked: Despite delays in its film adaptation, Broadway audiences continue to flock to see the live version of Wicked, packing the Gershwin Theater since its debut in 2003.

The Book of Mormon: This unconventional blend of missionary zeal and irreverence, crafted by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q, has captivated audiences for a decade with its audacious humor.

Aladdin: Drawing enthusiastic families and fans of the beloved animated film, Aladdin’s magic carpet ride through Broadway has kept audiences coming back for more.

Hamilton: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking hip-hop history lesson consistently plays to packed houses at the Richard Rogers Theater, surpassing even 100% capacity.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: As the longest-running non-musical on Broadway, this London import has undergone significant changes post-pandemic, offering audiences a seamless, magical experience in a single sitting.

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