There are plenty of interesting birthdays today: PJ Harvey, Al Jourgensen from Ministry, Guillermo del Toro. But why not pay tribute instead to that most melodramatic of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. It had its premiere in London’s West End on this day back in 1986 and has since become the most successful stage musical of the modern age, including the longest running on Broadway. Because who can resist a romance between a hideously deformed organ player and a gorgeous opera singer? The chandeliers! The gondolas! The masquerade ball! The Phantom is gothic on the grandest scale.