The Phantom of the Opera composer Andrew Lloyd Webber won't be among the starry partygoers celebrating the hit musical's 25th Broadway anniversary on January 26. Lloyd Webber will be unable to attend the musical's special gala performance as the composer is recovering from back surgery and cannot travel to the United States for the event, according to a statement on his official Twitter page.
“Sadly I am not able to be in New York for The Phantom of the Opera's 25th anniversary performance on Broadway this weekend,” Lloyd Webber said in the statement. “I have had to come back to the U.K. for another back operation. I am desperately sad to miss it, but my back will not allow me to travel. I wish everybody all the best for Saturday. Congratulations and huge thanks to everyone involved with the show on Broadway over the years.”
The Phantom of the Opera 25th-anniversary celebration will star Sierra Boggess as Christine, Hugh Panaro as the Phantom and Kyle Barisich as Raoul. Although specific details about the event have not been released, the gala will reportedly include special guests. Featuring lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, a book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber, and directed by Hal Prince, The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show in Broadway history.