Theatre review by Steve Duffy –
Andrew Lloyd Webber sequel to “Phantom of the Opera,” fittingly playing at the Boston Opera House, is a sequel that’s not needed, but you will be glad you saw it.
The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and the Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak-shows of Coney Island. In this new electrically-charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar. All that is missing is his love – Christine Daaé. Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine is struggling in an ailing marriage to Raoul. So, it is with excitement she accepts an invitation to travel to New York and perform at a renowned opera house. In a final bid to win back her love, the Phantom lures Christine, her husband, and their young son Gustave from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them….
The plot may not meet the standard of the original Phantom, but it’s the cast that saves the show. They are absolutely fantastic!
Gardar Thor Cortes and Meghan Picerno sing and act superbly as the Phantom and Christine. Both of their voices soar and fill the theatre. Meanwhile Sean Thompson captures the broken and self-destructive Raoul. His performance of “Why Does She Love Me?” will make you feel bad for the hero he once was.
I didn’t like that the Phantom loses some of his mysterious and threating presence because he has way too much stage time.
For the most part, the songs are forgettable. The songs are missing the haunting and sumptuous score that you fell in love with in the original. Two notably good sounds are the Phantom’s opening performance “‘Til I Hear You Sing” and Christine’s “Love Never Dies.”
The eye-popping set and costumes are a delightful spectacle that make Love Never Dies a grand production to watch. I promise you will be in awe at the imaginative set pieces.
We probably didn’t need a “Phantom of the Opera” theatrical sequel, but fans of the story will be happy to see how the story ends.
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 2 hrs 20 min (includes intermission)
Tickets for Love Never Dies are currently on sale and can be purchased through an authorized ticket seller found only at Ticketmaster 800-982-2787, and by visiting www.BroadwayInBoston.com. Tickets will also be sold directly at the Boston Opera House Box Office, 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA. Love Never Dies will play a limited two week engagement now through February 11, 2018.