just back from LOVE NEVER DIES - Loved it

chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Wow - I cannot begin to say how much I enjoyed it.

I had never seen the London Production, and while I enjoyed the music on the concept album, I didn't listen to it a lot. The story seemed hard to go along with.

But what a difference a couple years, a new continent, new creative team make... Wow - was tearing up at "Look with your heart"; even though I knew the story, I actually felt the tension with whether Christine would sing or not (the shots of Raoul and the Phantom really made it that much more dramatic).

The music sounded so lush and superb - and the alterations were great (love the scene before "LND" with the Phantom putting the necklace on Christine) even scenes I never cared for -- the beauty underneath -- I found exciting.

I hope this helps bring LND to Broadway... would love to see this live. Just the Coney Island Waltz alone, there was so much to take in, that this beautiful film couldn't possibly have captured it all.

Congrats ALW and the Cast and Crew - it was a brutal process, but it's great to see LND's potential fully realized.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
I fully agree. I listened to the cast recording a couple of times and liked it but never really connected with it. Seeing the show tonight, I can't wait to listen to it again. I think it is actually better than PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and I really am excited for my blu-ray to arrive in a couple of months.
chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Yeah Jordan, I was thinking the same thing... I enjoyed Phantom a lot, but the music and everything really seemed to move things along. Perhaps because its new, but I like it better than Phantom.
staunchcharacter
Stand-by
joined:11/25/10
Im absolutely shocked. I thought I would hate it, but the characters here seem more formed than they did in the original!
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
I really would love to see this production come to New York. It looks like it would be spectacular in person.
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
The production is physically amazing, I don't think I've ever seen a musical as 'spectacular' and feel that description from the pull-quote outside the theatre is quite honest, if a bit understated because of how overused the word is.

I haven't seen the filmed version but heard it is difficult to gauge a cohesive view of the transitions or the whole set, which is very tall and intricate.


Updated On: 2/29/12 at 01:01 AM
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
It's a very intimate filming of the show and it's only towards the very end when there's a full stage shot (which these filmed musicals need more of, by the way) that you get a feel for the scope of it. It also seems like the stage is not that big so what they did with the space they had was really incredible.
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
saw it today too... was pleasantly surprised at how much i enjoyed it especially after hearing the negative comments and reviews... i too have the London cast album but never connected with it... but after watching it tonight I did... the music sounded so lush and beautiful... it also felt like stronger work from ALW... i thought Raoul was more of a character this time around as was Meg... i like what both characters were going through... can't wait to watch this on blu-ray!
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Wait, people like this crap unironically?!
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
staunchcharacter
Stand-by
joined:11/25/10
I know, I'm as shocked as you. But when something is good, its good. I'm eating my words right now to several of my friends. Its visually spectacular and while the book and score are flawed, they still serve for a great, emotional evening at the (movie) theatre.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
It's is a very good PRODUCTION, but my sister and I both walked away feeling that it is still a very flawed SHOW.

The final scene seemed tortuously slow, even though they were virtually hanging above us in the third row.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
harris007
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/04
I got to agree ,wasn't a big fan of the London cd. But everything just seems to work on the big screen . Not a perfict show but 1000 times better then London.
Attend the tale of Bovine Boy His party threads we all enjoy But does he have Mad Cow Disease? He doesn't eat beef - but cows skating? - oh please!!! With cocoa!?! And lemonade!?! The heifer-mad poster of Broadway (World)
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
I know next to nothing of this show but I did like the music the one time I listened to it. I've never been in on the constantly negative commentary around the internet but I also did not mind it as the idea seems hopelessly tacky and cheesy. The title alone seems to have been thrown onto the marquee at the very last minute due to how corny it is.

I used to be a Phantom nut but have since found it to be one of the most unsatisfying nights at the theatre for how pedestrian it is. I always will admire the production itself: Hal's direction, Maria's gorgeously iconic designs, Lynne's evocative choreography, Bridge's moody lighting, and ALW's sumptuously orchestrated score. But the characters, plot I've never really cared much for. The few times I did care it was all momentary push-button emotionalism since nowadays I find it impossible to care for a lunatic serial killer. When you're a kid, you innocently buy into things that tell you how to feel, something I find gratingly annoying now as an adult. I will say I sort of miss that naivete and the joy Phantom brought as a result.

I'd still enjoy it if that were the only problem. I can be laid back and easy going, you know, but I just don't care at all for Christine as a character. The rest of them, much less. So the show is and always will be about stagecraft, the music, its irresistible visual style, and the show's best character of all...that darn chandelier.

So, I guess LND seems to have taken those characters and made them into people we can actually care about, eh? But it still features a serial killer ghost who bemoans his fugliness, no? And what's this about Meg Giry being an evil slut with Mme. Giry being the same sinister creature who is the only one sporting a French accent? The whole thing sounds like a bad dream, and if that is the case, I'd rather be dreaming with the murderous ghost and his chandelier instead!

But happy to see Lordy Webber have another crack at making the show as good as the score that accompanies it.

I wish him much success.

Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Hooray! So glad people are finally enjoying this show!

"and the alterations were great (love the scene before "LND" with the Phantom putting the necklace on Christine)"

That was there in London :)
2014 Theatre: Strangers on a Train 3.5 * From Here To Eternity 3.5* Stephen Ward ***** The Full Monty ***** Fiddler on the Roof (UK Tour) *** Stephen Ward ***** Jersey Boys ***** Blithe Spirit ***** Wicked (UK Tour) *** Arcadia ** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels *** Urinetown ***** Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3.5* Other Desert Cities **** Birdland **** The Phantom of the Opera **** Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake ***** In The Heights ***** Miss Saigon **** Clarence Darrow ***** Great Britain ****
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Wow. This is NOT at all the reaction I expected from BWW. At least I'm reassured that I wasn't the only one in the theater last night filled with incredulous laughter.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
GottaHaveAGimmick
Featured Actor
joined:3/15/08
I think I'm a bit mixed on the film. I agree, the score is beautiful. There is some clever staging (Coney Island Waltz and the Phantom's confrontation with Raoul). The costumes were incredible in detail.

The story in LND is much tighter than POTO as it only revolves around the Phantom, Christine, Raoul, the Girys and Gustav. And the filming (lots and lots of close-ups) made the story quite emotional. There are few light moments and most of the songs are ballads.

But when did the Phantom cease being a murderer? How does someone sing for so long after being shot in the stomach? How did Raoul become such a drunk? These preposterous turns stretched my suspension of disbelief.

Overall glad I saw it, but would not see it on Broadway without more tweaking by the writers.
Proper Villain
Stand-by
joined:6/22/10
I still need one thing answered: who were the coneheaded chil'ren following the man on the giant trike? I hate that song - love this staging - but seriously... why were they referencing a skit from SNL in the 70s?
"Are we being attacked or entertained?" - MST3K My theatre poster/logo portfolio: http://www.listenterprises.com/
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
You have to do something with all the extra Gustaves.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
how is Meg a slut??

Raoul became a drunk because of his gambling... although he wasn't really portrayed as a drunk drunk... more as a drinker...

the ending reminded me of the Matrix Revolutions when everyone in our theater was like... DIE already Trinity!!! haha... and yeah... Christine sure did sing a lot before dying! haha...

and did anyone not like the interview before the show started?? it was just edited really bad and it went on for far too long... after it was over some guy in my theater yelled out something like "thank you, it's about time"... ha
Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
I enjoyed the screening as well and liked it more than I thought I would. Yes, the score was repetitive (it is Lord Lloyd Webber, after all) but what was good was good. However, I was not a fan of the songs the Phantom and Christine sing when they first meet in the hotel room. It didn't have the oomph I was hoping for for their reunion. And oh Meg Giry, what have you become?
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
and did anyone not like the interview before the show started?? it was just edited really bad and it went on for far too long... after it was over some guy in my theater yelled out something like "thank you, it's about time"... ha


Agreed. Why did they use the same 3 or 4 scenes over and over again during ALW's desperate plea for us to like it?
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
The interview was edited really clumsily... It took the "extra" that is available on the Blu-Ray and DVD ("Making of") and added an additional interview that they must've done for the theatrical release. Really didn't find it necessary (particularly since as a fan, I had already seen all those...) but for my Mom (and I'm thinking other "casual" fans who don't know all the ins and outs of this show's development) it probably was helpful.

As for the death scene being too long - well considering what it was originally, Christine goes a lot quicker... And I didn't have a problem with it. Thought it was pretty dramatic.
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
It is a beautiful production, the score is nice, the performances are fine, but the story is still terrible.

It irks me to no end that I am expected to believe that a woman would return to her kidnapping, murderous stalker for a night of consensual sex shortly before her wedding to her childhood sweetheart. "He kills without a thought, he murders all that's good," yeah, that's just the person I want to bone before my wedding.
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
It turns out that I had less homework than I thought so I went to see the musical in the movie theatre. There were parts of it that I liked, but there were also things that I did not enjoy. The sets and specil effects are amazing, but I still feel that the music and book are not perfect. It is enjoyable, but it does NOT live up to its predecessor. This morning I wathced parts of the 25th Anniversary concert of 'Phantom of the Opera', and having seen the tour twice, I can clearly see why the first musical appeals to so many people and this sequel does not.
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
I was not a fan of the songs the Phantom and Christine sing when they first meet in the hotel room. It didn't have the oomph I was hoping for for their reunion

I agree! I found this part so boring. And I was watching it from the rear mezz, which I imagine it is a lot worse from than the close-up filming.

Updated On: 2/29/12 at 04:51 PM
PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03
"Love Never Dies" - if someone told me ALW was staging a POTO sequel where the Phantom, now called Mr. Y, ends up running the freak show in Coney Island and invites Christine to sing there...I would say good luck pushing that tomatoe!
Boy was I wrong!

The Australian cast and creative team have a winner, IMO. If THIS is the production that ends up in New York it will be a real treat. The half full house stood to applaud and were buzzing about how they enjoyed it.

I was expecting a freak show with a few good moments, but the storyline is intriguing. The characters are compelling enough to care and the ending a surprise. I liked what they did with Mdme. & Meg Giry and I think Sharon Millerchip(Meg) is outstanding.

The Australian Ben Lewis & Anna O'Byrne (Phantom & Christine) acted and sang beautifully. Set/costume desinger Gabriela Tylesova did a wonderful job and the entire production is visually exciting.

While I wasn't crazy about every song and a few of the choices made, overall it would be wonderful to see this come to New York.

Visit the website for the Australian production at
http://loveneverdies.com.au/index.php
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"

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