Few musicals have enjoyed the cultural (and financial) longevity of The Phantom of the Opera. Lyricists Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, and composer Andre Lloyd Webber’s take on the classic French novel by author Gaston Leroux, opened in 1986 with no endgame in sight, which makes one wonder why it took so long to cash in and make a sequel. In 2010, Webber, along with writer Glenn Slater, who won a Tony for his work on the 2007 stage adaptation of the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid, brought Christine Daaé and the Phantom together again in Love Never Dies. Set ten years after the events of the first installment, the Phantom has lured his muse from Paris to New York City for a performance (that unbeknownst to her, he set up) at a new venue called Phantasma in Coney Island. High drama and tragedy ensue (fans of the original will revel in the gothic splendor of pieces like “The Coney Island Waltz” and the crafty/schmaltzy ballads “Til I Hear You Sing” and “Love Never Dies”), allowing Webber to spin a predictable but effective new set of themes that both celebrate the half-masked anti-hero’s pipe organ past while allowing him to evolve (as much as he can with his anger issues and addiction to heartache) beneath the formidable shadows of the Big Apple.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2