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Love Never Dies -Adelphi Theatre, London 2010

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Sister George
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joined:5/16/03
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Just saw a twitter message from a friend

Love Never Dies = Shit Never Flushes. Just awful.
"I tend to think if god wanted us to believe in him, he'd exist" Linda Smith
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CONAries
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joined:10/7/08
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The plot sounds dull, followed by one moment of interest... followed by even more dullness!
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BwayBaby18
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Did Sierra go on?
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wishinguweresomehow
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Most of the spoilers given sound stupid....a drunk Raoul and a murderess Meg? PUH-LEASE! This is why sequels NEVER work...just ask the people behind ANNIE WARBUCKS, BRING BACK BIRDIE, or the tragic A DOLL'S LIFE.
"Not everyone can come and go by bubble"
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Sally
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Does the Christine automaton I've heard about play any part in the show?
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BroadwayBenny
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I CAN'T EFFING WAIT for the hilarious youtube videos we will no doubt get of sobbing teenage girls ripping ALW a new one over the ending.

There is always a silver lining folks Love Never Dies -Adelphi Theatre, London 2010
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devonian.t
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My word there are some savage reviews going round for the 1st show! It sounds like a train wreck.

The worrying thing is that ALW is not known for re-working material quickly (or thinking that quickly for that matter). Whether it can be fixed before opening is questionable.

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chernjam
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I'm more than a bit skeptical of some of the reviews I've read here. Some have been sharpenning their knives for months since they heard Love Never Dies was coming. And some of these negative reviews simply say "it's a train wreck" "it's horrible" without saying why -- makes me wonder if they were even in the audience tonight. It's like a week or two ago when people were giving their reviews of the soundtrack when some 30 second clips were on amazon.com. You haters out there really are a bit too eager to bash!

True I'm an ALW fan, and am hoping that it's successful - simply because I'd like to see a good show and hear some new, beautiful music...
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Edna Turnblad
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After reading the full review someone posted here, I couldn't help but keep laughing at the ending. I don't know why, but I just find it funny!
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MamasDoin'Fine
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All that magic and illusion- sounds like 'The Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee Summer Special' in Bournemouth!
Dantes
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A mate and his BF were there tonight and text me
This was the text

"Hey, LND is HORRID!!!! i know you love the flops, BOOK NOOOOOOOW"
former sadm2 (wink)
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MCfan2
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It sounds absolutely horrific. I'm sorry, but ALW must have completely lost his marbles.
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nealb1
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I don't understand how any person can judge a show when they haven't seen it.
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winston89
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Nealb1, I agree with you. I am very much still looking forward to this show and I will have to wait till the fall when it opens in New York.

I don't know how people can be a fan of a performer if they haven't seen them perform. It's like saying that I am a fan of Christopher Walkin's stage work yet I haven't seen a Behanding in Spokane.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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nealb1
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Thanks, Winston89. And, well said Chernjam. I've never understood the need to demean shows. I just don't get it...never will.

I'd love to go to London this summer and see it. Especially to see him - he's amazing! Love the promo video of him singing! But, I'll wait until it comes to NYC in November.

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chernjam
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thanks nealb1 -
Like I said, I'm an ALW fan - I even enjoyed Woman in White (it wasn't my favorite, but it was an enjoyable evening at the theatre)

I realize with the Phantom, some "phans" are more "fans" than I am and almost treat it as sacred... so they are definitely hesitant to any touching of this story.

Then you have the ALW haters who dislike everything the man does (and usually put the disclaimer they liked Superstar to try to give them credibility)

For those of us not on either extreme, if "Till I hear you sing" is any indication, I'm thinking we'll be very happy.
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frontrowcentre2
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Thank you for the detailed report.

How is the text? (Lyrics, dialogue?)

I am one of those ALW haters referenced by Chernjam. (I love EVITA, and like JOSPEPH and SUPERSTAR, but find that since Webber and Rice split the shows have been undone by Webber's seemingly deliberate choice of working with bad book-writers and lyricists.) Now hate is probably too strong a word but I find the post-Rice shows seem determined to undo all the good that was done for the lyric theatre by Hammerstein, Lerner, Harburg, Sondheim et. al.

Of course if the story is lousy, nothing can be done to salvage it.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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BroadwayBenny
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Yes, there are indeed people "sharpening their knives" ready to attack any new show of this commercial magnitude..and especially Andrew Lloyd Webber.

BUT...

In this case, a lot of people, myself included, are rightfully skeptical and critical of the decision alone to make a sequel to Phantom. It isn't any different than when Disney starting creating sequels to their animated films based on classic literature. The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time...it comes off as a lazy, cheap and a desperate attempt to sell sell sell.

Of course, I plan on giving the entire cast album a listen. It may in fact be quite good and I will eat my own words if the piece as a whole does feel warranted in existence.

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a fairy tale for adults..plain and simple. It is not some profound thinker's saga that needs to continue in anyway shape or form. It is meant to exist in it's own little magical place and time and leave boat loads to the viewers imagination. Now, for better or for worse, it has been turned into a soap opera and that is why people are and have a right to be at least a little pissed.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Oh for Gods sake guys calm down. Its an open discussion board for people to air their views and that is all people are doing. Go join the Andrew Lloyd Webber Fan Club if you don't like what you see here!

Updated On: 2/23/10 at 02:01 AM
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Sally
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Right, BroadwayBenny.

I like Andrew Lloyd Webber's music and have seen several of his shows, all of which I enjoyed except for Starlight Express. When I first heard he was going ahead with a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, I thought it was a bad idea, and now reading what he has done with the LND story and the characters the two shows share, I am a lot more than annoyed. Who needed to be shown this "official" version of what became of the characters after the Phantom sang, "It's over now, the music of the night."

I don't sleep with a white mask under my pillow, but I am something of a Phantom fan, and I wish he had left well enough alone and written music for some other show.
Princeton2
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My friends overall opinion from last night. Visually impressive, some good (if random) effects. Good cast but the show belongs to Ramin who apparantely brought the house down (in a good way) with Till I Hear You Sing and is probably the best thing init.

Downsides is the plot and book, and the lyrics are pretty weak.

Not a complete mess of a show but far from being amazing. Audience reaction mixed, many did give it a standing ovation in the stalls apparantely.

Personally find Scott Matthewmans tweet about the show very unprofessional, if you dont like it then fine. There are more professional ways of saying so, or dont have your tweets public. Some companies ive worked for, that would get you reprimanded.
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Nickhutson
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no-one's actually mentioned the score... how was the MUSIC?

As I've mentioned here, ALW didn't want clever/witty lyrics - which is a shame, as that's something Glenn Slater does pretty well.
Nick Hutson Co-Presenter/Producer MusicalTalk - The UK's Musical Theatre Podcast http://www.musicaltalk.co.uk
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Sally
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Uh, the plot, book, and lyrics *are* pretty important in a show. If they are a downside, there's trouble right there in River (Thames) city.

I agree about the tweet, funny (to some) but not professional.
Holbee
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joined:8/3/05
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One of the biggest flaws of the show, not really mentioned previous, is how it negates the intentions and character plot advancement of the original. SPOILERS AHEAD: At first, when it appeared Raoul had little interest in his boy I thought, ah, the Phantom must have raped Christine when he had her mesmerized, Gustof is his son. Odd but sorta interesting...then they meet in her boudoir in the next scene...and...apparently, sweet naive Raoul-loving Christine, sought out the Phantom the night before her wedding and had sex with him (!). Okay, I know there are those cat ladies who see things oddly, but Christine NEVER loved the Phantom. She loved Raoul. She never sang a love duet with the Phantom. She sang two+ with Raoul. The Phantom was a homicidal sociopath she took pity on and kissed to save her love that the Phantom was about to KILL!!!!!! Yet we are to believe that one kiss had so much in it, on her wedding eve she abandoned her childhood love to crawl under the sewers and schtup the deformed guy? Again, I know there is some revisionist memory that "Phantom" is a love story between the Phantom and Christine...but there is nothing to it. Not a bit. Its beauty is the unrequited love the Phantom has for this girl. She was sweet enough to feel pity, that's it. Now, of course, realistically, Raoul might have become a drunk and their love faded. But please. This is a musical fairy tale. I don't want to think all the sturm and drang from the first musical was all for nought. Among a host of horrible, horrible atrocities in "Love Never Dies" this rewriting of the first show is one of its worst.
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devonian.t
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Holbee makes a lot of sense! ALW will of course try to counter with the oh-so-acute comment that the first show was a load of "hoakum", but actually it does have dramatic coherence and integrity.

Who knows where this myth has sprung from that Christine and Erik were star-crossed lovers. Clearly he adored her musical talent and to her he was a father-fugure and musical mentor. That this turned into a mutual love would be a trite simplification of the character dynamics.

I truly believe ALW has been struggling to find a story- he has his set of characters but now what?

Personally this is what I'd like to see:

1. Gustave is really Raoul's son, but he is fearful that it could be the Phantom's. Doubts plague him as a result and this might cause the rift between him and Christine.
2. Erik knows the boy is not his son, (he would remember certain pre-requisites that didn't happen). However, by drawing in Gustave, he can keep a little bit of Christine- plus there is the repetition of behaviour of his mentoring Christine, (which adds a pschological credibility). He can re-enact the past by raising a new musical genius and spite his rival Raoul.
3. Christine now also fears "losing" her son to the mephistofeles-type figure of the musical mentor. The boy, unaware of past events, naturally sides with the exotic, exciting phantom over his stifling parents
4. Raoul faces the nightmare of having to fight for a loved one all over again- this time is own son
5. Once more Christine must win over the phantom- get him to be reasonable- and see that music is not more important than love. The old love vs music battle is re-drawn.
6. The phantom, realizing once again that he cannot manipulate people into love, disappears forever, (swearing never ever to appear in another sequel as he goes)
7. Christine, Raoul and Gustave re-find their love for each other

To me, this sequence of events is psychologically grounded, emotional, dramatic, and would not require characters to become the complete opposite of everything the original built.

So there. If you need a decent book writer, you know where to find me! :)