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Arts & Culture > "Love Never Dies"--touring Review

"Love Never Dies"--touring Review

In January 2018 “The Phantom of the Opera” will start its 30thyear playing to sold out crowds on Broadway and in February 2018 it will celebrate its 27th year as the opening show for the debut of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Last night the sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera”, called “Love Never Dies”, made its performance for the first time in South Florida at the same Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale.

We are reunited with Christine, her lover, now husband, Raoul, The Phantom along with others from the original show plus, new to the story, Christine’s 9 year old son Gustave.

The Phantom lives in Coney Island, New York, in 1907 and Christine, now one of the world’s best opera singers, has been invited to sing in Manhattan. The Phantom lures her, Raoul, who has gambled and drank their money away, and their son to the wondrous world of the exciting Coney Island. We are very quickly thrown into the world of one of the most famous triangle love stories ever told.

The music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and Charles Hart, has written some beautiful numbers, including the title tune and “Till I Hear You Sing”, though not as quite as memorable as those from the original show.

The production values from costumes and scenic designs by Gabriela Tylesova to the lighting by Nick Schlieper, the choreography by Graeme Murphy and sound by Mick Potter all add up to a first rate setting. The set is constantly changing and the roundtable never seems to stop.

Starting with the first number, the aforementioned “Till I Hear You Sing”, sung by the Phantom, played by Gardar Thor Cortes the audience knows they are in for a treat as his voice expresses the thoughts of a man in pain yearning for the woman he loved and lost. Sean Thompson is a handsome Raoul with a voice that matches Cortes and/or any other of the cast members that he sings with in duos, trios, quartets or ensemble numbers. Mary Michael Patterson, as Meg, delivers the goods as an actress and singer, quite enjoyable but didn’t seem quite sure of her dancing. Karen Mason as Madame Giry is dressed to look like Mrs. Danvers in “Rebecca” which doesn’t distract from her bringing the first act to a powerhouse close with “Ten Long Years”. A really delightful surprise was Casey Lyons as the 9 year old Gustave playing his role and singing with a lot of confidence.

Christine, ah Christine, from her first entrance on stage and her song it is obvious that Mehan Picerno will own the role and take us on the journey she is on in “Love Never Dies”. It is when she sings that song near the end of the second act that her amazing talent is brought to the front and one wishes the songwriting team had written another solo or two for her.

“Love Never Dies” stands on its own as a musical with the vocal talents alone, along with the impressive sets, but if compared to “The Phantom of the Opera” it would be found lacking which shouldn’t deter from seeing this show in Fort Lauderdale or when it comes to your town.

Running time: 2 hours and 26 minutes including a 20 minute intermission.


“Till I Hear You Sing” from “Love Never Dies”


posted on Nov 8, 2017 3:10 AM ()

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