First preview report roundup on the ‘Phantom’ sequel, ‘Love Never Dies’


Remember this blog post from July 2008? When plot details from Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, were revealed, Jamie, Dan, Brent and I promptly predicted how the show would/should look. We were hoping for dancing automatons, space organs and flying ferris wheels.

Well, we need guess and dream no further: the first preview of the show occurred last night in London’s West End at the Adelphi Theater, and the internet buzz has already started. To help speed things along, I’ve compiled some highlights from various reports, including theatre message boards, blogs and twitters, below. (Warning — there are spoilers.):

  • There’s no shortage of spectacle! There’s a walking skeleton with lady’s legs (that pushes a table across a stage?) and a rock-playing gorilla autamaton atop a mirrored box. (I guess the monkey music box grew up?)
  • There’s also a glass horse-drawn carriage that magically transforms into a real carriage — or something.
  • The set features a giant HD screen, much like what was used in ALW’s previous effort, The Woman in White, where all sorts of dizzying graphics and computer animations are projected.
  • (Perhaps my favorite): The Phantom’s new lair features a chandelier of 20-plus Medusa-like skulls that come to life in song!
  • The Phantom obsessively fondles a bunch of “Christine dummies.”
  • The Phantom, who has fled to Coney Island, has built an attraction at the park called “Phantasma.” He sends for Christine to perform there. And she does.
  • Raoul is now a jerky, abusive, alcoholic, gambling dirtbag — straight out of a Lifetime Movie.
  • Madame Giry is still shady, still wearing the same dress, and still hanging around the Phantom mysteriously, acting as his gatekeeper of sorts.
  • The Phantom bartends at one point.

Spoilers!

  • Christine and the Phantom have a secret son! (No, the Phantom didn’t give her more than the “music of the night” when he mesmerized her. Apparently, that brazen Christine slipped out the night before her wedding with Raoul and had relations with the Phantom.)
  • Meg “who-is-this-nyoo-ta-yoo-tah?” Girey is a jealous wench and MURDERS Christine out of her love for the Phantom. (This is after she unsuccessfully tries to drown Christine and the Phantom’s boy.)
  • The Phantom and his son share a “moment” just after Christine dies and right before final curtain, indicating…whatever that may indicate. (Another sequel perhaps? With the Phantom struggling as a single dad — attending PTA meetings, battling it out with a washing machine, worrying about his son as he goes off to prom? The possibilities are endless!)

Whee! And you’re welcome.

22 thoughts on “First preview report roundup on the ‘Phantom’ sequel, ‘Love Never Dies’

  1. Loooovely!
    It sounds tres strange that plot they’ve put together. I feel that it might do just okay in London but the American critics are probably not going to show it any mercy. I have less than a month to go to see it. So excited!

  2. Thanks for aggregating this info! Being in the US, fans are hungry for the details. As expected, the buzz is pretty mixed, and leaning toward “bad.” But I’m sure everyone thought it’d be pretty damn-near impossible to top the original. But I don’t ever *want* to see things fail, so here’s hoping they can tighten it up before it comes to Broadway.

    Did this make you want to rush out and see the original show? Because it makes me feel like curling up with the dependable original. I just interviewed Jeremy Stolle, who understudies the Phantom on Broadway. Check out my Q&A and video with him. He gives some really cool insight into what it’s like being on call for the role.

    Jesse
    http://www.stage-rush.com/2010/02/understudy-hall-phantoms-jeremy-stolle.html

  3. One thing about the show really pleases me; the French name, Raoul, has been brought back into fashion. I used it for one of my main characters in my popular novel “Whispering Palms”!

  4. The show will be opened this week in UK. Have you check the music video of “’till I hear you sing (once more)”? It looks haunting amazing! I’ve been addicted to it already ;)

    Nice blog, btw, I’ll be right back for your next post.

    1. Thanks for reading, KD! Yes — I’ve seen the video for that tune on youtube. I, in fact, do like it.

  5. most of the reports seem to suggest it will be awful. i suspect there my be problems with the projections (as there was in woman in white). have a ticket for 17th but reviews will be out within 48 hours (weds am). i give it 18 months to run.

    1. Wow. That wasn’t a very long preview period, was it? Surprised ALW allowed it to officially open so quickly.

  6. My daughter and I just saw this play in London. It was so good, we went back to see it again the next day. We loved it better than Phantom of the Opera.

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