Thursday, February 14, 2013

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies

Finally I watched the DVD last night. This is not a film of a live show, I think, but some parts were shot live in Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Australia; because you can hear the audience's applause. The costumes are great. The sets are wonderful: I like the harbour and the room with prism/pyramid shapes. The songs are not very memorable, though.

What I dislike most is the story. When I read the Gaston Leroux's novel I had this impression that Christine and Raoul were in love with each other and that she was only mesmerized by the Phantom's talents. Many fans of  ALW's the Phantom of the Opera don't agree with me and they believe that Christine's true love is the Phantom. It's understandable because the musical was written to make us sympathize with the Phantom. I  myself felt the same when I watched the show in London back in 2004. We had then John Owen-Jones as the Phantom versus Ramin Karimloo as Raoul--> I vote for John Owen-Jones anytime.

Now, in this sequel, 10 years later, the Phantom, Madame Giry, and Meg join a traveling circus and they arrive in Coney Island, New York. Meg is now a leading lady and has been trying to impress the Phantom, who in return never notices her. The Phantom lures Christine, now Madame de Chagny, to sing in the circus. Raoul is now in gambling debts and needs the money. This couple comes with their 10 year old boy, Gustave. It seems Raoul never loves Christine and he only wanted to win her from the Phantom then. Later, it turns out that Gustave is the Phantom's son. Apparently, after 'Music of the Night', Christine made love to the Phantom.

Apart from the story, I think this musical still needs more work. It's perhaps not that bad if it's not called the sequel of the Phantom of the Opera. About the cast, I think Anna O'Byrne (Christine), Sharon Millerchip (Meg), Maria Mercedes (Mme Giry), and Jack Lyall (Gustave) were wonderful.

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