Making history: 'Phantom of the Opera' celebrates 30 years on Broadway

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'Phantom of the Opera' is celebrating 30 years on Broadway in style. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The longest-running show in Broadway history is celebrating its 30th anniversary in style.

"The Phantom of the Opera" officially marks 30 years on Broadway this Friday, but the musical community came together Wednesday to kick the celebrations off early with a special gala performance.

Alumni of the iconic show from over the last three decades got together in New York City to honor the production. Also in attendance? The legend behind the music of the night, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Webber explained how grateful he is the show has become a cultural phenomenon.

"I knew when Phantom first happened in London that we had one of those rare occasions where every aspect of the production had come together, it's one of those things that happens once or twice in your career if you're very lucky," Webber said. "This is one of the occasions where it happened for me."

The production has played nearly 12,500 performance to 18 million people at the Majestic Theatre since its debut in 1988.

The Empire State Building joined the festivities with a light show set to the music from the production.

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