Sunday, November 27, 2016

Love Never Dies

WARNING: What you're about to read is kind of half-kidding.  But also kind of serious.  But don't take it too seriously.  You've been warned.

Love may never die, but something died inside of me as I watched this.

I'm sorry, but this is literally the worst musical I have ever seen.

Image result for love never dies

It's kind of like the Hobbit movies.  They weren't horrible on their own merit--they had cool visual effects and I probably would have really liked them on their own.  I dislike them because they take something I love (the book) and twist it out of shape and misrepresent it.

In the same way, this musical is alright--it has it's shining moments--but it grossly perverts the original Phantom story and kind of robs it of any emotional value.

Nostalgia critic describes it (satirically) like this:

"A self-inserted fanfic that is destined to become a classic!  It is the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera everyone has always wanted.  What if the phantom and Christine had sex the night before the wedding?  Oh, and Raoul is a drunk, broke, gambler now.  And the phantom is like super successful and hosts a carnival.  And Christine totally still loves him.  Oh, and her ten year old son is actually the phantom's son!  Oh, and when she dies in the end, the son goes to live with the phantom forever!"

Image result for love never dies

This show has the following problems:

  • it contradicts the original show
  • the music is less than satisfactory
  • the characters are misrepresented and also bland

Can we first just talk about the fact that Andrew Lloyd Webber first denied that this show was even in connection with Phantom of the Opera?? 

"I don't regard this as a sequel—it's a stand-alone piece."

Of course, right.  It's just another story about a phantom who wears a white mask, lived in an opera house in France and is obsessed with a singer named Christine.  Mmmkay, SURE, Webber.

He probably said this after he realized he contradicted his own musical.

Image result for andrew lloyd webber whoops
National Portrait Gallery | Face to Face blog - Smithsonian

He did retract the statement later, saying:

"Clearly, it is a sequel."

First, some positives.  The costumes were very beautiful, and the boy who played Christine's son Gustav was a really good singer.

...and that's about it...

By far the worst part of the show was how it contradicted it's source material.  

First of all, how on earth does Erik return?  He literally dies at the end of Phantom!  This is the exact quote from the book:

"Erik is dead." 



Second of all, how did Erik father a son?  

That fate which condemns me
To wallow in blood
Has also denied me
The joys of the flesh."


Image result for phantom of the opera eating cake

I think what really happened was that Andrew Lloyd Webber was a die-hard phantom-shipper and this is his fanfiction based off that.  And yes, it basically is fanfiction since the actual story of the Phantom of the Opera isn't his (it's Gaston Leroux's).

The musical opens on Coney Island, and the musical instantly loses points because Paris was a much better setting.  Creepy clowns and circus performers creep around for awhile, singing about Coney Island and slapping viewers in the face with exposition.

Actually, the exposition is a huge problem.  Just before even the circus part, the phantom sings for what seems like hours about how he wants to hear Christine sing.  Flash to circus performers, and then Meg Giry is also there trying to impress the phantom by preforming in a show.  

Half of Meg's songs are just filler...

Image result for meg giry bathing beauty

Ah yes, who doesn't want to impress the known criminal kidnapper, murderer and arsonist???  Of course it's natural that Meg and Madame Giry would move across the ocean to Coney Island just to impress this dangerous stalker that killed some of their friends and co-workers!  Obviously.


Meg's story line is actually one of the weirdest parts of this entire musical.  She is so desperate for the phantom's attention, that when she doesn't get it, she threatens suicide.  During this entire sequence, the phantom is saying nice things to her and being cordial all around.

Image result for christine death love never dies

WHAT ON EARTH.  This is not even the same character!  This is not a character arc!  This flies in the face of what the phantom stands for.  The phantom literally died out of love for Christine and was willing to do whatever he could for her--including murder!  He doesn't care about anyone but Christine, so does it really make sense that he would care at all about Meg?  No!  Of course not!

But any theatrical suicide attempt ultimately results in an accidental shot being fired and a character we like getting killed.  So Christine gets shot and dies in the phantom's arms in what could have been a nice scene.  

Could have been.  What was with Christine and the phantom being totally in love?  "Kiss me one last time!"  WHAT????  What what what what what what what.


I don't even have words to express how contradictory this musical was.  The entire time my mouth was hanging open, appalled that this even existed.  WHAT.

My brain can't formulate things right now.  I had this whole plan to review this musical, but now I don't think I can do it.  I am malfunctioning thinking about it.

Error, error!


Image result for raoul love never dies
Empress Books

Christine just leaves her husband of 10 years after maybe two days being around the phantom.  WHHHHHHHHHHHY.

And Christine lets phantom (you know, the guy who almost killed her fiance and forced her to marry him) take her son out around Coney Island where they take the strangest LSD-trip ever portrayed in a musical.  It is the most psychedelic thing I have ever seen.

Christine seems like an awful mother!  Her son Gustav asks if his father loves him, and Christine launches into a weird romantic song about following your heart.  It doesn't answer Gustav's question at all and is basically there to remind us that Christine is having second thoughts about the phantom.


Image result for raoul love never dies
Empress Books

I can't point out even one memorable melody.  It seemed like characters were just chanting the plot the entire time, and it really was not entertaining.  Meg, Raoul, and the phantom chat in a bar for probably a fourth of the running time.  

There was one specific song that just sounded completely like a pop-song and nothing like a musical or an opera.  The inconsistency makes me ill.

WELL THEN....I'm going to go listen to the original Phantom soundtrack a thousand times to cleanse myself.  

What did you think of Love Never Dies?

Perhaps I will actually review this at some point, but I just needed to get some of these thoughts out my head.  I feel better now.  *Sighs*


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  2. I think Love Never Dies was awful. It really is like a well-produced fanfiction. I hate what they did to Raol, and I hate how they changed the Phantom's character so much without explanation. :( It completely defied everything I love about The Phantom of the Opera.

    But I disagree that there is not one memorable tune in Love Never Dies. I've listened to the soundtrack quite a bit, and there are at least a few memorable tunes. "Til I Hear You Sing" is my favorite, and I listen to that song frequently for its beauty "Beneath A Moonless Sky," despite its somewhat racy content, has a lovely melody. And the titular song, "Love Never Dies", is also lovely in its own right.

    You should hear the soundtrack with Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, who were the original cast. It's much better than the Australian version. I loved the set and costuming of the Australian version, and it was really cool how they filmed it. But the voices and acting of the original cast was superior.
    So, although the story really sucked, I couldn't hate it as much as I wanted to after watching it. The music, although inferior to the original, is still beautiful at times.

    By the way, Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera is actually meant to be very different from the book. Erik doesn't die at the end of the musical as he does in the book, he lives on into his old age, and places a ring on Christine's grave along with a rose and black ribbon. I know it's way different than canon, but the musical is practically a different story altogether, with some of the characters and settings carried over from the book. So really, it's an AU Fanfic in itself! XD

    Here's a link to Ramin Karimloo's "Til I Hear You Sing": ^_^

    1. That smiley face at the end is actually not part of the address, just clarifying. ;D

    2. A "well-produced fanficion" that's a good way to put it.

      Perhaps I need to listen more since I only watched it once. Also I searched and searched for the version with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo because I absolutely love their voices, but I couldn't find it :(
      Maybe if I had seen that version I would have liked the music a bit better.

      Wait, really? Is that in the Broadway version because the West End production ends with Meg holding up the phantom's mask...?

      Oh thanks, I need to listen to some Ramin Karimloo now :D

    3. The Broadway version doesn't show the graveyard scene, but the movie does. Also, various versions of the musical show the Phantom leaving his mask behind to walk down a secret passage hidden in his lair. He escapes before the mob finds him. :)

    4. Oh, strange, I've never seen a version like that. I kind of liked the phantom's death at the end...hmm. Well, thanks for the clarification :)

  3. Hahahahahahah!!! Hohohohohohohohoho!! Heheheheheheheheh!!! Reading this post was like listening to my older sister Melody rant!! She LOVES/ADORES (whichever you want to call it) Phantom of the Opera and HATES Love Never Dies!! She TOTALLY would agree with this post!! I haven't seen either yet, but I want to watch Phantom. Melody is actually writing a Beauty & the Beast/Phantom of the Opera re-telling. I LOVE it!!

    1. Thank you! Oh DO watch Phantom, it's incredible ^_^
      Ooh, that's a creative idea!

    2. Yeah, we just haven't been able find a place to watch it.
      It is really good!