MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- On Sunday night, the curtain went up and the chandelier came down as 'The Phantom of the Opera' said goodbye to Broadway.
After 35 years and nearly 14,000 performances, Sunday was the finale of Broadway's longest-running production.
Laird Mackintosh was on Sunday night as the Phantom, returning to the show unexpectedly and hoping to do justice for principal Ben Crawford, who has been sick and on vocal rest.
As it came to an end - the curtain call of performance number 13,981 brought Crawford out for a bow - and saluted the cast, crew and musicians who built the show's 35-year legacy.
The members of the original Broadway company and Andrew Lloyd Webber's angel of music, Sarah Brightman - the original Christine in the show's early years.
"Seeing Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber on the same stage - it's really -n it's magical. It's such a gift to have that kind of artistry in the theater, and I hope it continues, and I hope a legacy like this happens for other shows," said Michael DiBianco.
In all those years, the show has employed thousands, has been seen by millions and has grossed more than a billion dollars.
On Sunday, even the chandelier took a final bow.
"It couldn't have gone out with a better performance. I thought it was one of the greatest performances of Phantom I've ever heard," said Webber.
During that final curtain call, Mackintosh said he gets asked a lot if Phantom is ever coming back. He said all the great musicals always return and this is one of the greatest, so it's only a matter of time.
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