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Blu-ray review: “Love Never Dies”

Blu-ray review: “Love Never Dies”
by Brandy McDonnell Published: June 22, 2012

‘Love Never Dies'

Andrew Lloyd Webber proves that unnecessary sequels aren't just for movies anymore with “Love Never Dies,” his woefully undesirable follow-up to his theatrical smash “Phantom of the Opera.”

The critically derided sequel lasted less than 18 months on London's West End and never made it to Broadway. But a revised Australian production played last year at Melbourne's Regent Theatre and was recorded for a limited run in movie theaters and subsequent Blu-ray release. Except for Gabriela Tylesova's striking set and costume designs, though, the rich high-definition picture and crisp Dolby Digital sound are largely wasted on “Love Never Dies.” (Not surprisingly, the fluffy 15-minute making-of featurette glosses over the musical's troubled history.)

Remember the sense of mystery, wonder and redemption that came with the ending of “Phantom of the Opera”? If you're going to bother with “Love Never Dies,” you'd best set those feelings aside before the sequel obliterates them for you. The long-percolating follow-up, which Lloyd Webber reportedly has been pondering since 1990, manages to muss with the original's timeline and more importantly with its familiar characters while still coming off as a been-there-done-that retread.

A decade after an angry mob stormed Paris' Opera Populaire, the enigmatic Phantom (Ben Lewis) resurfaces in turn-of-the-20th-century Coney Island, where he escaped with the help of choreographer Madame Giry (Maria Mercedes) and her dancer daughter Meg (Sharon Millerchip). He now runs a colorful sideshow called “Phantasma” with Madame Giry acting as producer and Meg starring as the “ooh la la girl” who dreams of greater fame. Although he has found a place he can belong among the Coney Island freak shows, the Phantom still longs for his muse, the stunning soprano Christine Daae (Anna O'Byrne).

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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