Just watched Love Never Dies...

castlestreet
Broadway Star
joined:7/2/10
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/22/12 at 11:58am
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of the Australian Production on DVD, so I sat down and watched it last night, which I will be doing again tonight to see how it feels a second time around, but here are my thoughts:

-Much tighter show than it was in London
-The plot, while still a little thin at times, makes much more sense than what it did in London
-I think Ben Lewis actually makes a much better Phantom than Ramin did- I think his voice in the show has a great blend of commanding presence/mixed at times with the needed sensual elements needed for the scenes with Christine
-Ana is no Sierra in the vocal department, but still very good. I thought she acted the role very well.
-Visually this production, in my own opinion, is very very very well thought out. Just the right amount of spectacle mixed with intricate staging.
-The score in this production, and maybe for the reasons listed above, really seems to shine much more than it did for me than it did in London. I really even thought the strains of the Original score that are sprinkled here and there were used more effectively.
-The ending- better- still not perfect, but better

Overall, as much as I didn't care for probably 60% of the the London production I would say I really liked what I saw last night, and at this point, with some work still left to be done- I think he is foolish if he doesn't bring it this to Broadway.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/22/12 at 02:34pm
I agree that the production values are better than London, but I didn't care for the new placement of Till I Hear You Sing Once More (we had to wait to see the Phantom in the first show, why rush his appearance in the sequel?) and though it looks much better than the eyesore on stage in London, The Beauty Underneath still sticks out like a sore thumb far worse than the title song in Phantom of the Opera (which they were obviously attempting to replicate). I wish that number were replaced or at the very least, re-orchestrated.

But honestly, the show will never succeed until they come up with a new plot. It's still ridiculous, laughable, and the "will she sing?" plot device is still as irrelevant as before. We know the answer before the show even starts, so any sense of tension or suspense is completely false.

And I still think Our Kind of Love was a far superior song.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/22/12 at 08:07pm
Something I noticed in the theatre that doesn't really come across on film is Maria Mercedes looking and sounding like Patti Lupone.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Nick Murphy
Chorus Member
joined:3/17/10
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/22/12 at 08:24pm
It can only be an improvement over the dreadful London production.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/22/12 at 09:54pm
I haven't watched the whole thing, but so far I really don't like "'Till I Hear You Sing" as the prologue. The original prologue sucked too, so they definitely needed something new, but this isn't it for me. I would have rather they just opened the show with "Coney Island Waltz" and left "'Till I Hear You Sing" where it was.

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Updated On: 2/22/12 at 09:54 PM
tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 12:34am
Agree with the original post. The changes worked remarkably well for me, and the staging is epic. LOVED it. Would sign up to bring this to Broadway in a heartbeat.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 12:56am
I'm kind of bummed that they seem to have intentionally edited out all the scene changes. We rarely ever get to see the scenery shifting from one scene to the next which was probably very beautiful on stage. The audience also seems to come and go. There's applause at the beginning and for the first few songs and then some really awkward moments like after "Dear Old Friend" where the song ends and there's just silence. I'm assuming that was from a shot without the audience being present, but it would have been better had it been edited in with the live performance to make it seem cohesive.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 03:01am
I still haven't seen it myself (a bit jealous of you who have), but Cats, I believe it was on BWW that ALW discussed that--how he wanted to edit it to look more like a film, and he gave a reason why he used a live shot with applause for some of the beginning (and maybe some other scenes?) but didn't want any audience noise for the rest. He justified it for story reasons but his reasoning didn't make a lot of sense.

Some find this weird, but for live recordings I prefer they film it live--ie include scene changes, audience applause (though I admit Passion does work better as filmed with no audience) etc. Especially annoying are recordings like Trevor Nunn's Oklahoma which restaged it all on a sound stage (the way ALW did with many of his video releases), except oddly they cut to pre recorded shots of the audience in the theatre and their applause.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 03:06am
I've only got round to watching the first act, and the only applause, including a shot of the audience, came after "Till I Hear You Sing" - it's quite odd and a bit jarring, while the dead silence after "Dear Old Friend" is almost amusing.

As for the transitions, yes, some of theme seem to have been edited, but you still get a sense of how they worked, occasionally catching glimpses of the revolves. It was a very cinematic production (I did notice one set piece which had to be pushed on to the revolve manually - you won't catch that on the video)
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 06:11am
It doesn't include the Entr'acte.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 04:52pm
^It does suck that there's no entr'acte, but I guess it makes sense for their "concept." I'm definitely not a fan of the way they filmed it. I guess it would be okay if it was "cinematic" all the way through with no audience ever, or the opposite with the audience always there, but to include them at the beginning and end, and have them gone for the rest of it (except for the end of the title song) makes it seem like a half realized concept to me. It just just doesn't work. Why are we being forced to pretend that this wasn't a live stage show?

Aside from that, the cast is great, what can be seen of the set is mostly gorgeous and there are some really great camera moments that are beautifully executed and feel very cinematic, but they are few and far between.

The material is a bit better than it was in London, but it's still never great. I'm not a huge fan of the story, but some of the music is really pretty and every time I noticed a slight lyric change it was always for the better. I don't think this would do well on Broadway simply because the story is still a little too far fetched and never quite engaging enough to stand proudly next to the original, but there are still a few songs and scenes in this film version that are worth it all in the end.
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beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 04:55pm
Llyod Webber is making a special announcement tomorrow. I wonder if this anything to do with 'Love Never Dies' or 'The Wizard of Oz'.




Andrew Lloyd Webber to Make Announcement on CHRIS EVANS SHOW Tomorrow
Updated On: 2/23/12 at 04:55 PM
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Just watched Love Never Dies...
Posted: 2/23/12 at 07:20pm
Also, why is Christine listed in the credits as Christine Daaé and not Christine de Chagny?
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