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RIALTO CHATTER: 'LOVE NEVER DIES' Set to 'Haunt' Stages in March 2010

RIALTO CHATTER: 'LOVE NEVER DIES' Set to 'Haunt' Stages in March 2010Variety is reporting that Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed that his 'Phantom' sequel, "Love Never Dies," will premiere in London "in March of next year, and on Broadway in the same season."

Lloyd Webber was speaking at the press conference for the Eurovision Song Contest, for which he had co-written the United Kingdom's competing song. Andrew Lloyd Webber's comments mark the first official confirmation of the new "Love Never Dies" timeline. 

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reported last week that The Phantom Of The Opera sequel was re-evaluating schedules for the debut at the Adelphi in London and the, as of yet, undisclosed theatres where the production will "haunt" in Toronto, New York and the Far East.

The original plan was for the musical to open in the West End in either late October or early November of this year. The reported cause for the delay is the fact that Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has been busy working on the concept album of Love Never Dies, had his score re-orchestrated, which meant he had to re-record the upcoming release. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber was a guest on Jonathan Ross's UK talk show recently, and described "Love Never Dies" as being extremely emotional, complicated and more interesting, "harrowing". He also noted that fans of the original might have "trouble with the way the story continues, but there was nothing he could do about that as the story, is the story..."

He became somber as he explained it as "the most personal project he has ever written", revealing his emotions as he returned to the characters he "knows and cares about so deeply", he didn't give any indication of how far along he was overall, he did however cited that creating the actual look of the production was taking some time and not "ready yet".

During the interview with Ross on May 1st, 2009, Lloyd Webber also confirmed he is to return to the BBC's tv screens in 2010 with a show to find a 'Dorothy' for his planned The Wizard of Oz West End re-do.

Bamiboye's description of the music for 'Love Never Dies' gives one hope for something romantic and thrilling, "From what I've heard, it sounds like the best work Andrew has produced in decades. I confess, I didn't know he still had it in him - it's a score of high passion, full of longing and regret".

The original Phantom is still happily running, at Her Majesty's, London, 23 years after opening.

Earlier rumors indicated that Andrew Lloyd Webber wants Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, who have developed the roles of the Phantom and his protegee in several of the various 'Love Never Dies' workshops, to originate the roles in London. It is expected they will perform the role for the CD of the sequel. Karimloo is the current Phantom in London, and Boggess was in The Phantom of the Opera production in Las Vegas and is currently Broadway's The Little Mermaid.

A recent Equity audition casting breakdown gives a bit more insight into how the characters of the original musical have changed nearly ten years after the sad and passionate events of "Phantom".

We have the scoop to share with you right here, click to read.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed byHarold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is byRichard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd WebberTHE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge, sound design by Mick Potter and original sound design by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

On Broadway, since its debut on January 26, 1988, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed over $700 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. The production has played over 8,600 performances and total New York attendance is over 12.5 million. PHANTOM became the longest-running show in Broadway history on January 9, 2006 (surpassing Cats) and has now played well over 1,000 performances and more than two and a half years since breaking that record - and all with no end in sight.

Its internationally success - equally staggering - is represented by a total worldwide box office gross of more than $5 billion, making PHANTOM the most successful entertainment venture of all time, surpassing not only any other stage production, but also far surpassing the world's highest-grossing film Titanic (at $1.2 billion) and such other blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Worldwide attendance is over 80 million people, having played over 65,000 performances in 25 countries and 124 cities. It's won over 50 Theater awards including 7 Tonys, and there are currently 8 productions around the world. The most recent international opening was Perth, Australia in February 2009.

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