Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Has "Love" Actually Died?

Has "Love" Actually Died?


Arguably one of Broadway's most anticipated new shows may have already withered before ever making it to the United States.

Make no mistake. Love Never Dies -- Andrew Lloyd Webber's $15 million sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera that transports the action from Paris' Opera House to New York's Coney Island -- is still playing at London's Adelphi Theatre. But now reports are suggesting that the show won't make it to Broadway this season, if ever.

Update: Love Never Dies producers announced on October 1, 2010, that the production would not be on Broadway during the 2010-11 Theatrical Season.

The musical sequel opened to largely negative reviews in London earlier this year. After seeing the show for myself in May, I concluded that it needed an immense amount of work if it was ever going to last even a fraction of the twenty-plus years that Phantom has been around. And indeed, it's been my understanding the performance West End audiences are seeing today is different than the one I saw just months ago.

But apparently that's not enough.

Previews were slated to begin for an open-ended run in April 2011, but all of that has now been called into question since director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell have reportedly bailed so they may concentrate on a more sure-fire hit: Catch Me If You Can.

The New York Post's Michael Riedel goes one step farther to say that although his sources have said the show is postponed "indefinitely," he says, "The $15 million London production, which was directed by Broadway vets Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell, will not be seen in New York. Ever."

Thus, I have pulled Love Never Dies from my confirmed list of shows scheduled for the 2010-11 Theatrical Season and have placed it on my "Definitely Maybe" list. Until we hear for certain that Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel is truly a non-starter for this season, it will languish like several other improbable shows on that list.

P.S. I must place a large SPOILER ALERT on the second comment below. If you don't want to know the plot, read no further.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 01 September, 2010, Blogger The Tyro Theatre Critic said...

Well I don't know exactly when you saw it (presumably around the Whingers party?) but I managed to see it twice, god help me, once in previews and once about a month after launch (a few weeks after the Whingers party) and there were minor alterations but nothing I'd describe as major. Marginally better perhaps but still a lame duck of a show. There may have been big changes since but as they altered diddly-squat during previews and soon after it doesn't seem likely.

Ignoring whether it's of artistic importance or not, from a pure bums on seats perspective it's clearly struggling to fill. TKTS has it at a discount almost every day, sometimes at 50% off. I can't see it lasting in London for long.

I'd be surprised if it doesn't rise from the ashes in some form though, Webber doesn't seem keen for this baby to go the way of his other recent shows and he isn't exactly short on cash.


At 02 September, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous 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!


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