Webber Fans Wonder Whether Phantom of the Opera 2 Is Really the Great Idea It First Seemed

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Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, opens today in London, and unsurprisingly, hard-core fans — or "phans" — of the original are up in arms. The sequel has been in previews for two weeks now, and the response has been tepid at best and harshly critical at worst, with one theater blog dubbing the play "Paint Never Dries." Fans on the WhatsOnStage site have mostly savaged Love in an epic message-board thread, calling into question characterization and plot developments, and largely agreeing that the production is too slow and tedious. Understandably, Lloyd Webber is a bit defensive and insists that all of his classic shows were rough in their early performances.

Phantom of Opera sequel opens amid "phan" disquiet [Reuters]