Andrew Lloyd Webber, Love Never Dies is a Sequel Success. When you hear the word sequel, you automatically think it's dead on arrival because most sequel never lives up to the glory of the original. Well, Love Never Dies is the exception. This brilliant and beautiful performance was terrific, even though we had to review the play from obscured seats in the third balcony.
From its silhouette rising of the curtain, we see the well-known mask marauder deeply divulged into his plot to win back his lost love. Singing from a sensational spider web looking staircase, he reveals his longing desire to hear his true love ("Till I Hear You Sing,") sing once again.
It has been ten years since he disappeared from the Paris Opera House. The Phantom has moved to New York where we have transformed himself as he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak-shows of Coney Island. While there Madame Giry (Karen Mason) and her daughter Meg have been helping him mend his brokenness hoping that their kindness will draw his soul to Meg. For a decade they have toiled and turned their mischievous web of seduction to secure his love, but unbeknown to them, the masked phantom has other plans.
Excited to have finally found a place where his music could be heard, the Phantom pulls in place the last missing piece to his new masterpiece of love; Christine Daaé. Christine is the of the world's most beautiful sopranos however she is married to Raoul, a drunken wannabe aristocrat that has left them down on their luck, struggling to survive. Christine is given fortuitous to visit New York and perform at a renowned opera house, and the stage is set for the Phantom to sing his way back into her soul with the love she has for music.
Lloyd Webber's decision to produce Love Never Dies due to his belief that The Phantom of the Opera left the
audience with a cliff-hanger. He chose New York Coney Island and turned it into one of the most beautiful places in the world; a place where he called it, "the 8th wonder of the world."
The performances in this play are genuinely incredible. Gardar Thor Cortes (The Phantom), Coloratura Soprano, Meghan Picerno, (Christine Daae ) which the New York Times praises for her "attractive soprano voice," and Mary Michael Patterson, who played Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera, now playing the role of Meg; are all sensational. They provided the audience with a stunning performance of musical theater. And dare we forget the pure sounds coming from the enchanted voice of Casey Lyons who plays Gustave, Christine son. His command and pitch were impressive for someone of his age.
The set, customers, scenery and the music orchestra, was an extravaganza to the eyes and ears. You will leave the show memorized with a tingle of joy in your soul.
The lyrics of "Love Never Dies" by Glenn Slater were outstanding and the ghoulish scene from "The Beauty Underneath," was fascinatingly delightful like candy to a child. Its multiple arrays of lights filled with mysterious creatures caged in a glass sphere pulled the audience into this whimsical Coney Island of freaks. All in all, I thought Love Never Dies was an exquisite and stunning array of theatrical joy that we highly recommend!
Don't hate… appreciate how spectacular this play is on its own merit. Sure there are some portions of the play where we would have like to have seen more, like when the son first meets his father but that's for another sequel. And as far as a sequel goes, could Gustave fascination of this new world cause him to find his real voice and love for music? We see a trilogy on the horizon. We could use another Andrew Lloyd Webber production. With the hatred we see in this world today, this play is indeed a gift.
The cast includes:
Gardar Thor Cortes (The Phantom)
Katrina Kemp (Fleck)
Stephen Petrovich (Gangle)
Richard Koons (Squelch)
Mary Michael Patterson (Meg Giry)
Karen Mason (Madame Giry)
Meghan Picerno (Christine Daae)
Sean Thompson ((Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny)
Casey Lyons (Gustave)
Cadillac Palace Theater Presents
Love Never Dies
By Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
February 14 – March 4, 2018
Running Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
Filed under: ChicagoNow