It was announced today that the spring 2011 Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies has been canceled. It is currently unclear if the musical will ever make it to the United States.
Love Never Dies is the much anticipated and highly controversial sequel to Lloyd Webber’s hit 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera. It is important to remember that Love Never Dies is the sequel to Lloyd Webber’s musical; not to the original Phantom of the Opera story.
Lloyd Webber had, apparently, been thinking about a sequel ever since the premiere of the first musical. For twenty-six years he experimented with different ideas and collaborated with author Frederick Forsythe on a rather odd novel titled The Phantom of Manhattan. The mixed results of the March 9, 2010 opening in London led to the cancelation of the November Broadway premiere of Love Never Dies. After citing Lloyd Webber’s poor health, the production was pushed to the spring of 2011.
It is understandable if many people like Love Never Dies and their opinion needs to be respected. The music is quite nice and the staging and technical aspects of the production are absolutely stunning. However, it is also understandable if many Phantom purists find the musical completely repulsive. Love Never Dies is stranger and more inaccurate than any other adaption of The Phantom of the Opera. With the possible exception of the 1998 Dario Argento film.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, Love Never Dies can be rather upsetting to Phantom romantics. Yes, love can and has died because, by the beginning of the musical, Raoul and Christine are no longer sharing “one love, one lifetime”: Raoul has turned into an alcoholic and, as the show progresses, Christine reveals that she always preferred the Phantom. The sexually frustrated Meg Giry and her politically motivated mother simply put the icing on the cake.
It has been nearly one hundred years since the Gaston Leroux’s original Phantom of the Opera novel was published. In that time, there has not been even one faithful adaptation of the story. Some versions are extremely enjoyable even if they are not exactly what Leroux would have had in mind. Other versions are just plain terrible.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is good. Gaston Leroux’s original novel is better. Love Never Dies is…well, decide for yourself!
Source: “Love Never Dies” Scraps Plan for Spring Broadway Run