With the lush romantic melodies, grand staging and legendary success of the 'The Phantom of the Opera', ‘Love Never Dies’ had all the workings to have a built-in audience waiting to see the production. Based on the slow extension of advance bookings (at this writing to March 2011 where other musicals are booking a year in advance), it is likely the show is having some difficulty attracting audiences. I believe the show does well on the weekends where I had difficulty finding a decent seat. It is the weekdays that may be the problem for producers where I had better luck in booking a Tuesday performance for last week and Monday for this evening.
One unusual aspect is the Love Never Dies recording was completed before the production opened. There is also a Love Never Dies Deluxe Edition which includes a DVD. Anyone who is aware of the preview process knows that changes can be made before opening night. Indeed there are drastic changes especially in the first fifteen minutes between the recording and the version that appears on stage.
I believe the production will be reworked if it arrives on Broadway. There is far too much pressure on a sequel especially one composed by Lloyd Webber and one that will always compared to the original. It is not the breathtaking show that the original was but still entertaining. Most of the casting is right and the accessible but grand melodies characteristic of the composer are still there. I have a feeling the lyricist, Glenn Slater, and the book writers will be working overtime before the show premieres outside of London.
An announcement has already been made that the director and choreographer has left the production and that Lloyd Webber will hire two creative teams, one for Toronto and the other for Sydney, and then use the most successful one for New York. The story of the Phantom will continue indeed, if not onstage, behind the scenes. Click here for my 9/14/10 post about the musical.
|All production photos used for illustration purposes only.|