Then came the huge announcement... ego-driven, some say... that the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies will open on the West End and Broadway at nearly the same time! Great news for Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karmiloo, who won the roles of Christine and the Phantom, respectively.
Then came the bad news... the show stunk (the Phans call it "Paint Never Dries"), re-writes were demanded, the direction team dismissed (was it ever official), and just this past week or so, the show re-opened in London to similar reviews.
So what of New York?
But it gets so much better! Broadway's greatest diva loves the project so much she will take a supporting role, nearly every principal actor has a Tony or a Tony nomination or two or three. And the chance to see all of these legends together on the same stage in show , not a benefit, is a musical theatre lover's dream.
Then the "fans" got a hold of it and couldn't wait to out bite, out snark and out wit us all with reports of failure on all fronts... the book is a mess, there are places for songs that aren't written yet, and there is unrest back stage as egos are or are not being stroked. Then the previews were pushed back. Then they started, but with an apology from the director that the show might need to stop as the technical aspects of the show were still being hammered out. Then it started a new... the only thing not substantiated was the backstage bickering, which everyone in the company vigorously denies to this day.
OK, so the show opened, it was deemed a mess by a primed for trouble press. Everyone is sticking with it, through its limited engagement end date of January 23. Here is maybe the first show killed on a national news scale by Internet theater "fans" most of who still haven't seen the show, but continue to beat the "it's awful" drum. (I saw the second preview, enjoyed it, flaws and all, and look forward to returning before it closes to see how it really turned out.) Verge looked like a sure thing on paper... now, it will go off quietly into the sunset. Yes, quietly... because another show soon took over the news and Internet... but more on that high-flying guy soon...
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