BWW Review: LOVE NEVER DIES at Robinson Performance Hall
Many people will be giving thanks this week with the arrival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's" Love Never Dies" to Little Rock's Robinson Performance Hall. The extravagant sequel to the Phantom Of The Opera is a musical and visual holiday treat. The book was written by Ben Elton with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater. Though it is a sequel, it's not a sequel because you can enjoy this musical without ever having seen the original. However, the majority of the crowd were obviously Phans, Phantom of the Opera fans.
The musical is set in 1907, when Christine Daae', along with her her husband, Raoul and son, Gustave, have come to New York to sing for Oscar Hammerstein (i). Then a mysterious impresario contracts her to sing in a new attraction at Coney Island. The show, Phantasma, was actually created by the Phantom and he is still in love with Christine.
Christine played by Meghan Picerno is brilliant. She brings Christine to life with such a fearless realism it's easy to image the Phantom doing anything he could to hear her sing again. The haunted Phantom as played by Bronson Norris Murphy is superb. His magnificent voice and power makes his performance terrifying and heartbreaking. Sean Thompson as Raoul is wonderful as the struggling husband. You can see and hear the agony that he is dealing with. Gustave as played by Jake Heston Miller was superb. It's so exciting to see and hear this young man who obviously has such a bright future on stage.
The rest of the cast is perfection. Each character is real and intriguing. There is never a let down from beginning to end. This also a tribute to the set and the staging which brings you into this beautiful but sometimes terrifying world. There is so much to see it's almost, at times, overwhelming. If you love the Phantom or just love a musical that will take you away to a world of splendor and spectacle, this is the show to see. You will be carried away on a glorious journey that you will never forget.