Sunday, February 6, 2011

REVIEW: Love Never Dies (London)

Adelphi Theatre (London), Saturday January 29

What a dreadful piece of theatre. The songs were not too bad, but the story and how it was related was extremely lackluster, it makes a lot of stories in baroque operas sound totally realistic and logical.

Love Never Dies, latest creation for West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber, has lyrics by Glenn Slater and later Charles Hart, and book by Lloyd Webber, Slater and Ben Elton. It is a sequel to the The Phantom of the Opera. The plot is original and Lloyd Webber has stated "I don't regard this as a sequel – it's a stand-alone piece". The musical is set ten years roughly after the end of the original Phantom, Christine Daaé is invited to perform at Phantasma, a new attraction in Coney Island, by an anonymous impresario and, with her husband Raoul and son Gustave in tow. The impresario was of course the Phantom. The point of conflict has not changed, it is still the Phantom vs. Raoul for the love of Christine with bits of side dishes like a son of Christine by the Phantom and Meg's jealousy over the Phantom's love for Christine.

Sierra Boggess, Ramin Karimloo

It is the book that killed the musical. The performances were very good. Sierra Boggess, as Christine, gave a wonderful performance. Since the last time I saw her (in her broadway debut creating the title role in Disney's The Little Mermaid), she has even impressed me more. Despite the high tessitura of the role, her singing was never shrill. Ramin Karimloo, as the Phantom, was also impressive, but may be a tad less impressive when compared to his recording. The beautiful Summer Strallen, as Meg Giry, gave her role just the right voice and mannerisms. Joseph Millson, as Raoul, was the least effective vocally amongst the leads, but what he lacks he offset with his committed acting.

Summer Strallen

The production (directed by Jack O'Brien and set and costume by Bob Crowley) was polished, but it sat in the land of nowhere between grand and sleek when compared with the original Phantom or other shows in West End.


Love Never Dies
Adelphi Theatre, opened on March 9 2010

Creative Team:
Andrew Lloyd Webber - Producer, Composer, Book and Orchestrations
Glenn Slater - Lyrics and Book
Ben Elton - Book
Frederick Forsyth - Book
Jack O’Brien - Director
Charles Hart - Additional Lyrics
Jerry Mitchell - Choreographer
Bob Crowley - Set and Costume Designer
Paule Constable - Lighting Design

Cast include:
Ramin Karimloo - The Phantom
Sierra Boggess - Christine Daaé
Joseph Millson - Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
Liz Robertson - Madame Giry
Summer Strallen - Meg Giry
Niamh Perry - Fleck
Adam Pearce - Squelch
Jami Reid-Quarrell - Gangle

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At February 7, 2011 at 5:59 AM , OpenID loveshoulddie said...

Phantom Needs NO Sequel!
Raoul becomes a drunken wife beater, Meg becomes a topless dancer who murders her best friend Christine, Christine sleeps around before her wedding night and bares Phantom's child, and Phantom moves from the majestic Paris Opera House in France to New York's Coney Island theme park. Webber's ludicrous sequel to Phantom - LOVE NEVER DIES - destroys the original story and characters created by Gaston Leroux.

Theatre critics disliked the show giving it less than 3 stars, while many audience members are calling it 'Paint Never Dries'. Phantom Needs NO Sequel! LOVE SHOULD DIE!

At February 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Blogger SATOSHI said...

WOW! I am amazed that there is a whole movement against LOVE NEVER DIES! HAHA! Thank you for the comment. Really glad that I am not the only one who thinks that the musical is a huge disappointment.


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