Monday, March 12, 2007

The Phantom Of Manhattan?

The Phantom Of Manhattan?

It looks like the world will have another phantom to kick around. That’s right, just as I raised that specter a few weeks ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber is now officially set to resume writing a sequel to Broadway’s longest running show, The Phantom Of The Opera.

According to Sir ALW himself, the action will move from Paris to Gotham City. Maybe instead of a plummeting chandelier, he’ll simulate a drop of the New Year’s Eve ball.

Years ago, the knight was collaborating with Frederick Forsyth on a sequel. But after that effort failed, Forsyth published a novel called “The Phantom Of Manhattan.” No word on whether the new stage sequel will be based on said book.

The Phantom Of The Opera is perhaps the last of a certain dying breed of European mega-musicals where spectacle and song thrill audiences the world over. I remember seeing the original London production back in what seems a lifetime ago, and I even admit that I enjoyed it, despite having undoubtedly the worst seat in the house.

But I hardly consider Phantom to be Lloyd Webber’s best work. Personally, my favorite from his canon is Evita. I also much prefer both Jesus Christ Superstar and Sunset Boulevard over Phantom. Still, Phantom is much better than Starlight Express or my least favorite of his, the interminable Cats.

While Chris Caggiano reminds us that there have indeed been decent sequels to big, beloved musicals, it’s hard to believe the odds favor lightning striking twice on something so universally loved (or reviled) as The Phantom Of The Opera. When I put my SOB Poll question -- “Do you think Andrew Lloyd Webber should move forward with a stage sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera?” -- to you just a couple weeks ago, the overwhelming majority (85.7%) of you voted thumbs down.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether Sir Andrew can triumph again. You can bet I’ll be watching developments closely.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
The Hits From Coast To Coast (March 8, 2007)
Is It Just Me, Or...(Part II) (February 21, 2007)
SOB Readers Produce Results For Pulling Plug (November 7, 2006)

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