In case you were unaware, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit musical The Phantom of the Opera has a sequel. Love Never Dies, set ten years after the events of Phantom and located in 1907 Coney Island, made its West End debut in 2010, where it received, to put it kindly, mixed reviews. After undergoing rewrites, the musical debuted in 2011 at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, starring Ben Lewis as the drama-loving Phantom and Anna O’Byrne as the chanteuse Christine. Spoiler alert: The Phantom’s still got it real bad for Christine.
This weekend, Webber has made Love Never Dies’ Melbourne production available on The Shows Must Go On! benefit YouTube channel, where it will be available to stream for 48 hours. In a separate video, the composer recalls the bout of cancer that interfered with his ability to work on the initial production, though he praises the Australian production as vastly superior.
“This production, which I did do some work on, did get it right,” he muses. “I think it contains some of the music that I’m really most proud of.” Webber also says that a Toronto production of Love Never Dies is scheduled to premiere in December of this year, or, more accurately, whenever theaters actually reopen. So what are you waiting for?!?! Love never dies, but the streaming version of this musical isn’t long for this world. Did we mention its set in turn-of-the-century Coney Island?