Today in London Andrew Lloyd Webber launched his new Phantom sequel Love Never Dies.
The brand new musical will star current London Phantom Ramin Karimloo and American actress Sierra Boggess as Christine.
At a launch event at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, current home of The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber revealed how he struggled for years to find a suitable plot for the sequel. Despite working with novelist Frederick Forsythe on a follow-up story set in Manhattan, it was discussions with Ben Elton (We Will Rock You) that sparked the new plot for the show by suggesting that the sequel should follow the story’s original characters.
This long-awaited new show will have its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London on Tuesday 9 March 2010 followed by a New York opening on 11 November and Australian debut in 2011.
The new musical is set 10 years after the first, and sees the Phantom move from the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island near New York, billed in its hay day as one of the great wonders of the world.
The original musical has been seen by over 100 million people worldwide and is billed by Lloyd Webber’s company the Really Useful Group as the single most successful entertainment entity in history.
At the launch event in London a full orchestra played the new show’s dramatic opening waltz set against a film that highlighted the significance of Coney Island at the time. Ramin Karimloo also sang a number from the show. The Iranian-Canadian actor became the West End’s youngest ever Phantom when he took on the role at Her Majesty’s theatre in 2007, aged 29.
Sierra Boggess, who was present at the launch but did not sing, was the original lead role in The Little Mermaid on Broadway and has played Christine in the Las Vegas production of Phantom.
The original cast album will be released on 11 March, a day after the world premiere in London.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music features lyrics by Glenn Slater, who penned the lyrics for current West End hit Sister Act, and will be choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde) and directed by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray).