The official story summary is as follows:
It is 1907. Ten years after the mysterious disappearance of The Phantom from the Paris Opera House, Christine Daae accepts an offer to come to America and perform at the fabulous new playground for the rich - Coney Island.It's all very absurd. Some of it doesn't even make much sense (it's clear from casting calls that Gustave is really the Phantom's son, not Raoul's, which seems impossible given the narrative of the original musical), and some of the details are curiously odd (descriptions of a mechanical Christine automaton, like the one from the original show, acting as this show's "chandelier" equivalent in terms of an audience-wowing special effect, or the casting notices which mention characters "Mr. Gangle," "Mr. Squelch," and "Fleck," who are "strange and mystical" characters who "comment on the story," like a Greek chorus). But some of it is interesting; Coney Island, at least on paper, is the right playground for a man of the Phantom's talents, given his talent as an illusionist, architect, and showman, and in the right hands could be a compelling setting.
Arriving in New York with her husband Raoul and their son Gustave, Christine soon discovers the identity of the anonymous impresario who has lured her from France to sing.
Graced with stunning designs, passionate lyrics and a magnificent score, this brand-new musical is a rollercoaster ride of obsession and intrigue...in which music and memory can play cruel tricks... and The Phantom sets out to prove that, indeed, LOVE NEVER DIES.
As it stands, Webber's artistic judgment is very suspect. He's been in decline for quite some time (and even at his height was more of a showman than a skilled artist), and has yet to prove himself still capable of making a successful show. That said, I suspect he knows that, and maybe he's just hungry enough to produce something worthwhile, though from the plot summary and casting notices, Love Never Dies seems more bizarre than good. But at least it's interesting, I suppose, and not a safe, dull retread of the original. The involvement of skilled director Jack O'Brien and designer Bob Crowley is certainly promising.
And I have to say that I can't help but be a little bit more interested after this new trailer. It's nothing awe-inspiring, but the sample of Webber's score featured here, which is admittedly all too brief, sounds very fine (complete with a new spin on the famous Phantom motif from the original show), and the old footage of Coney Island gives off a nicely creepy vibe, albeit it seems more than a bit jarring when compared against the elegant Parisian setting of its predecessor.
On October 8th, the show will get its official announcement, complete with a live performance of music from the show (Ramin Karimloo will star as the Phantom, and Sierra Boggess as Christine Daae). I'll be curious to see how it pans out when the show makes its premiere in Spring 2010.
Edited by Ryan H., 25 September 2009 - 12:57 AM.