The Phantom of the Opera sequel titled “Phantom: Love Never Dies” is soon to become a reality. The show is scheduled to premier at London’s Adelphi Theater on March 9, 2010 and then opens in New York on November 11 and in Australia in 2011. An opening in Shanghai, China is also in the works which would be groundbreaking for Broadways’s push into the China market.
The Phantom of the Opera is based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux. The show originally starred Sarah Brightman, Lloyd Webber’s former wife, and Michael Crawford.
According to www.thephantomoftheopera.com, Lloyd Webber’s musical version of The Phantom of the Opera is the most successful piece of entertainment of all time, produced in any media. The Broadway production played its 9000th performance on September 17, 2009. It is estimated that Phantom has been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide having been played in no fewer than 14 languages.
Love Never Dies continues the story of The Phantom, who has left his lair at the Paris Opera House and, 10 years later, is haunting the fairgrounds of New York’s Coney Island.
Ramin Karimlooo will play the Phantom in the sequel, having performed in the original in London, and Sierra Boggess, who played the lead in Disney’s Broadway musical “The Little Mermaid,” will play Christine.
Sadly, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing treatment. The Oscar-winning 61-year-old, who wrote hit songs including “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from “Evita” and “Memory” from “Cats,” said that his latest work did not return to the original Phantom score barring “a couple of tiny, musical moments.
My personal thoughts: Lloyd Webber is taking a big artistic risk with this sequel. I absolutely loved Phantom and hope this sequel is nothing less than amazing. More often than not, sequels disappoint (i.e. the most recent Star Wars movies). If Love Never Dies flops, it would be a major blemish to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s distinguished career.