Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Love Never Dies


Not sure if the spoiler alert is needed, since I'm uncertain that anyone really cares about Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies.

Count me among the uncaring.  At least, until I caught the performance on PBS the other night.

The idea of a Phantom sequel seemed to me unwarranted and desperate.  Hackneyed.  Why not an Evita sequel?  (I try to imagine some of the songs:  "Don't Rot for Me, Argentina," "Eva, Beware of the Cemetery," "High-Flying, Embalmed").

And then I found myself actually liking parts of it -- mostly some of the music.  Especially the Phantom's big number, "Till I Hear You Sing." Admittedly it's overwrought, melodramatic Webber.  But, in my recent state of mind after my last break-up, it works for me (and my recent ex-boyfriend frequently sang to me, albeit without a mask).

I would have to agree with some of the criticism of the show though.  The plot seems contrived and the characters not really believable.  In the story, 10 years after the disaster at the Paris Opera House, Raoul and Christine (and their son, Gustave, who is (hint-hint) 10 years old) reunite at Coney Island with the Phantom and Meg and Madame Giry.  We learn that the Phantom is actually Gustave's father and then Meg, in a jealous fit, accidentally shoots and kills Christine.  And you just don't really care.  Too bad Meg didn't shoot that sap Raoul as well, I never liked him.  I mean, really, using your girlfriend as bait for a deranged murderer (in the first show)?  Betting your relationship in a drunken wager with the Phantom (in the current show)?

If only, at the end, the Phantom had looked at Gustave and said, "Join me, and together we will rule the galaxy as father and son!"  Oh, but I guess that's another show.

Still, I liked the song.  What can I say?

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