Lloyd Webber Readies Love for Adelphi & BeyondDate: 27 March 2009
While no official announcement has yet been made, according to today’s Daily Mail, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s eagerly awaited sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, will open in London in late October/early November at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre, where the revival of Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is currently running. Tickets are expected to go on sale in late May or early June.
The hugely ambitious global plan for Love Never Dies, as previously tipped (See The Goss, 6 Jan 2009), is to open it with near-simultaneity in three different locations around the world – a roll-out that would normally take at least two years.
The Daily Mail reports that, after being inaugurated at the Adelphi, the musical will have its North American premiere at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre – with this company eventually taking the show to Broadway – and soon after that will open in Shanghai. A three-month rehearsal period for all three companies will begin in London in August.
Love Never Dies is set ten years after the conclusion of the original story. The Phantom has escaped to New York with Madame and Meg Giry and found success in Coney Island as a magician and entertainer. When he builds a new opera house, he persuades his old ingenue Christine Daae, now a huge star and married to her old flame Raoul, to sing for him once more...
The parts of the Phantom and Christine have been developed in extensive workshops by Ramin Karimloo (pictured) and Sierra Boggess. Karimloo is currently playing the title role in the original production of The Phantom of the Opera, now in its 24th year at the West End’s Her Majesty’s Theatre. Boggess has previously starred in Phantom in Las Vegas. The couple have also been recoding the show’s concept album, which may be released in advance of the stage premiere.
Love Never Dies has a book by Ben Elton and lyrics by Glenn Slater. It’s directed by Jack O'Brien and designed by Bob Crowley. Speaking about Lloyd Webber and his latest score, O’Brien told the Daily Mail: “It is like the last flowering of a great era of lyric romanticism – the theatre doesn’t seem to have that nay more. No one coming up feels this way, with that passion. And here’s a story that no one knows better than he knows. Not only has he produced it, but he’s outdone himself.”
Lloyd Webber himself said: “The Phantom has been so extraordinary in my life – the biggest musical I’ve been involved with so far. Somehow, after nearly 25 years, to come back to it again, it releases a lot.”
- by Terri Paddock