Saturday, January 28, 2012
Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't mince words when talking about the poorly received London production of "Love Never Dies," his long-awaited sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera."
"It just didn't work in London," said Webber in a phone interview Wednesday from New York. His blunt assessment was in line with the critics, who cruelly dubbed the show "Paint Never Dries." A Broadway transfer was put on indefinite hold and the London version closed with a thud in August.
But last year, a different production of the musical, with some revisions, opened in Melbourne, Australia, and received positive notices. Spurred by its success, Lloyd Webber is resuscitating the musical's Broadway prospects. He said he is in New York this week to screen the Australian version of the musical for the Broadway community and select members of the press.
"I don't want to second-guess it now, but I think there's a strong probability that we do have a chance," said the composer.
"It's a deeply personal piece to me. The fact that it has been got right, that the Australians have got it right ... could make the difference."
Lloyd Webber added that the Australian production, directed by Simon Phillips, "is extremely expensive." The show has since traveled to Sydney.
"Love Never Dies" was captured in HD for broadcast to cinemas and a DVD release. The cinema version is scheduled for late February, said Webber. The DVD is scheduled for a U.S. release on May 29.
The musical picks up 10 years after the conclusion of "Phantom." The action is set in New York's Coney Island, where the Phantom has created a carnivalesque show. The score is by Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and Charles Hart. The book is by Slater, Ben Elton and Frederick Forsyth.