Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Music of the Night...again.
Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show and safe to say the most popular musical of all time having been shown in over 27 countries to over 100 million people now has a sequel.
At the end of the original we're left wondering what happens to the phantom as he mysteriously disappears. Now a supposed 10 years later in Love Never Dies we are reunited with our characters; the Phantom, now a wealthy man running a freak show on Coney Island, Christine married to Raoul, with a ten year old son who appears to be a bit of a musical genius in his own right and we watch as Christine and the Phantom navigate through the treacherous waters of a rekindled romance.
I have to be honest here, I never really thought of Christine and the Phantom as romantic, he kind of creeped me out. I have always found his possessiveness and oh I don't know tendency to kidnap Christine and imprison her a little off putting.
Andrew Lloyd Weber says he has poured everything he has into this musical. While I'm sure most of us could agree that the music from The Phantom of the Opera stands alone Weber goes so far as to say that the music from the new show goes further than the original music. He even says one of the songs he wrote for the new show is a stronger song than Music of the Night. That's an awfully heavy statement I think (I have heard the song and it is good but...).
I wonder now after how long The Phantom of the Opera has been in our lives if we really want a sequel. We've spent enough time and exposure to the story (through the movie with Gerard Butler, the music, books and the reproductions etc) creating our own ending to the story, people have kind of made their own closure. Why open that all back up again and answer all the questions people have already tried to answer for themselves...
Andrew Lloyd Weber of course disagrees with me, 'You know, I think it's slightly unfinished business, because all we do is we just leave a mask on a chair,' and what happened?" he explains. "What did happen? Did Christine really live with Raoul happily ever after? I doubt it. So, there had to be a continuation of the story."
And that's exactly what he's doing, whether we like it or not. The show opens tonight at the Adelphi Theater in London and will open on Broadway in November. I'm sure we'll all have more than enough opportunity to go see it at some point. Will you? Or would you rather leave that story alone...
Do you think this show will be another great success? Or is Mr. Weber setting himself up for failure? It's an awfully large risk.