After Edvard Munch's "The Scream" sold for a whopping $120 million in May, taking the title of most expensive artwork sold at an auction, it got us thinking about some other record setters in the theater, opera, art, and music spheres. After doing a little digging, we came up with some impressive figures -- take the most performances by an actor in the same role (9,000!), the longest solo-artist concert of all time (32 hours!), or take your pick from the full list below.
The World's Longest Running Musical
<strong>"<a href="http://www.thefantasticks.com/" target="_hplink">The Fantasticks</a>."</strong> The original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and played 17,162 performances. It opened in May 1960 and closed in 2002. The show's closing in 2002 didn't mark its end however, the new revival is currently running at the <a href="http://www.snappletheater.com/nowplaying.html" target="_hplink">Snapple Theatre in NYC</a>. We wonder if this new revival can break the current 42 year record...
Longest Running Time For An Opera
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/stockhausen-opera-premier_0_n_1342269.html" target="_hplink">Karlheinz Stockhausen</a>. </strong>The German composer's seven opera cycle, "Lickt" ("Light: The Seven Days of the Week") is approximately 29 hours long. The cycle has never been performed in its entirety, partly because of its length, but also because of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/stockhausen-helicopters_n_1342212.html" target="_hplink">extreme technical requirements of each opera</a>.
Longest Concert By A Solo Artist
<strong><a href="http://www.alexrok.com/index.php/music/" target="_hplink">Alex Carlin</a></strong> whose concert ran for 32 hours and was performed at the Pub Bourbon Street in Radomsko, Poland in 2009. We're having a hard time believing that people were able to stay for the full concert, but judging from the video footage it looks like Carlin had a very lively audience.
Painting Sold For Highest Amount At Auction
<strong>Edvard Munch's "The Scream."</strong> The pastel version of "The Scream" sold for nearly $120 million in May, nearly $40 million more than it was estimated to sell for. The anonymous buyer bid over the phone. "The Scream" fetched $13 million more than <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/arts/design/the-scream-sells-for-nearly-120-million-at-sothebys-auction.html" target="_hplink">Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," bought two years ago for a record of $106.5 million</a>.
Highest Grossing Broadway Show
<strong>"<a href="http://www.lionking.com/" target="_hplink">The Lion King</a>." </strong>The show opened on November 13, 1997 and since then has <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/lion-king-box-office-record_n_1412592.html" target="_hplink">grossed a total of $853,846,062</a>. <em>(Photo credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Most Performances Of An Actor In The Same Role
<strong><a href="http://backstage.blogs.com/blogstage/2009/04/actress-catherine-russell-celebrates-recordbreaking-22-years-and-9000-performances-in-perfect-crime.html" target="_hplink">Catherine Russell</a></strong>, who has played the role of Margaret Thorne Brent in, get this, the longest running play in the history of New York theater ("<a href="http://www.perfect-crime.com/" target="_hplink">Perfect Crime</a>"). Just to blow your minds a little further, the theater that houses "Perfect Crime" also houses "The Fantasticks" which won the award for the longest running musical of all time. The Snapple Theater Center which houses both productions, was built by Russell and she currently manages it. Wow, she just might hold the record number of culture world record categories to be a part of. We doubt she has any career changes planned in the future.
World Record Marathon Shakespeare
<a href="http://www.recordholders.org/en/records/shakespeare.html" target="_hplink">Adrian Hilton</a>, who performed every single role of Shakespeares along with all of the Bard's sonnets and poems. It took Hilton 110 hours and 46 minutes to complete--almost 5 days! Not sure how he recovered from that one.
Highest Grossing American Film
<strong>James Cameron's "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/" target="_hplink">Avatar</a>."</strong> The film grossed a domestic total of $749,766,139. Globally, the film grossed an astronomical $2,782,275,172--unbelievable. The only film that comes close was the worldwide release of Cameron's <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/" target="_hplink">Titanic</a>.
Longest Reign At No. 1 On BillBoard's Top 100
<strong>Mariah Carey's collaboration with Boyz II Men.</strong> The song, "One Sweet Day," spent a total of 16 weeks (four months) at number 1 on <a href="http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/hot-100" target="_hplink">Billboard's Hot 100 chart</a> in 1995.
The World's Longest Running Concert
<strong>"<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/as-slow-as-possible-concert_n_1104863.html" target="_hplink">Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible).</a>"</strong> The performance, based on composer John Cage's "As Slow As Possible," is set to last 639 years and is still being performed at the former St. Burchard church in Halberstadt, Germany.
Longest Film Of All Time
<strong>John Henry Timmis IV's "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284020/" target="_hplink">The Cure For Insomnia</a>."</strong> Timmis' film runs 5,220 minutes (87 hours/3 days and 15 hours). The film has no formal plot, and consists of the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1007137/" target="_hplink">artist L.D. Groban</a> reading his 4,080 page poem "A Cure For Insomnia." The film is occasionally spliced with snippets of heavy metal and pornographic videos. The associated photo is an excerpt from the poem.
Longest Piece Of Performance Art On Record
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/film-explores-marina-abra_n_1592891.html" target="_hplink">Marina Abramovic's "The Artist Is Present</a>."</strong> The performance artist's most recent work at the MOMA consisted of her sitting (six days a week, seven hours a day) across from another person--the total time she sat reached 700 hours.