On Saturday afternoon, Broadway’s longest-running show, “The Phantom of the Opera,” will raise the curtain for its 10,000th performance. Behind the scenes, it’ll be just another day at work for the more than two-dozen crew members who have been with the musical since opening night, Jan. 26, 1988.
Jimmy Billings, 78, the head electrician for the Majestic Theatre, began preparing the space””tearing out the stage and digging out the basement””eight months before the production was scheduled to arrive at the theater. Now he’s responsible for a crew of 10 electricians, one of whom is his son, Frank Billings.
Mr. Billings hasn’t ever seen the show, and neither has Jack Farmer, 61, who as fly floor spends the duration of the performance on catwalks behind the stage that are as high as 100 feet in the air. “I’ve seen the tops of heads and hear the songs,” he says.
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