by Grant Cleaveland, @grant.cleaveland.
NEW YORK, NY - The funeral procession for the Phantom of the Opera chandelier’s corpse will begin shortly after The Phantom of the Opera takes its final Broadway bow on April 16th, 2023. Mark Andrews, the show’s company manager, told us that the nationwide tour will depart from the Majestic Theatre and visit every regional theatre in the country so they can pay their respects.
“We never thought this day would actually come,” Andrews told us while hauling an oversized organ to the curb for Tuesday trash pickup. “But we’ve always prepared for this scenario, and we can ensure there will be a peaceful transfer of power to Chicago when it becomes the next Broadway king. In the meantime, we must bring the chandelier to the commonwealth so they may pay their due respects.”
The procession will feature a 54-piece orchestral marching band, led by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the esteemed dog lover who wrote the music for The Phantom of the Opera.
“Love Never Dies,” Lloyd Webber claimed while cradling a gorgeous Havanese puppy. “The chandelier’s impact on theatre isn’t dying. It’s just leaving a few stray lightbulbs behind and exeunting stage left. Cats die, though. Cats die for real.”
Michael Crawford and Ramin Karimloo are set to be walking alongside the procession, though they will not be permitted to wear the iconic Mask, as they are no longer Working Phantoms.
“I understand fully why I can’t wear the mask,” Karimloo told us while jostling on glittery neon tights for The Last Match: A Pro Wrestling Rock Musical. “Wearing the uniform was an honor I gave up when I walked away from the royal responsibilities of being a Working Phantom. I renounced my title and position due to the unbearable pressure of the British media and, well, goddammit do I love Meghan Markle.”
The procession will make its final stop at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where the chandelier’s lead-lined coffin will be carried by the 2019 cast of Cats to its final resting place, as is tradition.