TODAY | January 27, 2013
>>> it's a big weekend for broadway's longest running show. the phantom of the opera marks 25 years on the great white way . they run for more than 10,000 performances with some of the most memorable songs on broadway. kristin dahlgren has details.
>> reporter: the biggest block bucker in history isn't "avatar," not "titanic" or the entire ask t entire or the entire " star wars " franchise. it turns out phantom has all of them beat. "the phantom of the opera " has grossed more than $5.6 billion worth wide, 130 million people have seen it. 87 sylvia bailey has been an usher since 1988 . the appeal is universal. phantom has been performed in 28 countries. it is just as mellow dramatic as that. it has sex, love, everything you want in a really good story.
>> reporter: sierra was only five when phantom opened.
>> i had the cassette tape and used to listen and try to sing along with it.
>> reporter: the production is massive.
>> there is nothing like sitting underneath it. it is still thrilling. it is still thrilling when people come in.
>> reporter: the actors that play the phantom have to endure 90 minutes of makeup. it has gone through more than a ton of makeup remover. i wake up stuck to my pillow. you find it on your knee.
>> reporter: he says it is well worth it for a role that sticks so much with audiences.
>> it is timeless. i think that's why we are still here.
>> reporter: there is no end in sight, which is good, because nobody has plans to leave.
>> i'm going to be here as long as the phantom is here. when the phantom leaves, i'm leaving.
>> reporter: for "today," kristin dahlgren, nbc