Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love Never Dies (The SOB Review)

Love Never Dies (The SOB Review) – Adelphi Theatre, London, United Kingdom

*1/2 (out of ****)

Eternal optimists often say, “Never say never.”

Legions of optimistic Phantom Of The Opera fans aside, Andrew Lloyd Webber would have been well-served not only to say “no,” but “never again” after his cat reportedly destroyed his first draft of his score for this deadly dull sequel with not much to love, including its ridiculous opera meets vaudeville vibe. While the show has been dubbed "Paint Never Dries," I dare say I've had more fun watching paint dry -- and it's faster, too.

That Love Never Dies is merely a shameless rip-off of the original becomes painfully clear after Christine (Sierra Boggess) arrives at New York’s Coney Island to perform a new aria she and Raoul (Joseph Millson) discover has been written by her rejected and disfigured suitor (Ramin Karimloo) from the Paris Opera House. When the words, “We’re just in this for the money” is spoken, the jig is up for all involved.

To Love Never Dies’ credit, both Karimloo and Boggess are in exceptional voice. And there’s a visually arresting projection design from Jon Driscoll. But with the exception of a first act tune “Beauty Underneath” in which director Jack O’Brien must have decided that the time had come to show at least a little money up on the stage, Love Never Dies comes up short in terms of spectacle for which the first show is known.

Instead, this sequel is mostly overwrought that's overdone. (Also overdone the night I attended was the incessant fog machine, which obscured all action on the stage for at least three or four minutes of the climax, making the unintended disembodied voices seem like the true phantoms. It left me thinking "Fog Never Dies.")

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 17 May, 2010, Anonymous Love Should Die said...

Legions of PHANTOM fans were never optimistic about this travesty.

At 17 May, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks for setting the record straight. Enjoyed the Web site.

At 17 May, 2010, Blogger Zuzana said...

Good to know! I hope they don't try to make a movie (or ten) out of this one too!

At 23 May, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve thanks for your review, I absolutely respect Andrew Lloyd Webber's career but the original score is simply too much amazing and powerful in order to create a sequel.


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