LOVE NEVER DIES, which is the sequel to Webber's hit THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, follows Christine and Raoul as they come to Coney Island to perform for the Phantom.
Overall, I was very impressed with the production. The actors and orchestra beautifully executed Webber's score and the scenic, lighting and costume designs were outstanding. They were all over the top, comedic, and dramatic at the same time, complementing the story and score.
I think Anna O'Byrne was impeccable as the soprano Christine Daae. She sounded beautiful and truly showed Christine's struggle throughout the show between her heart and her mind.
The other standout for me was the boy who played Christine's son Gustave. He was so emotional and sounded beautiful and made you really care for him as a character.
Ben Lewis was good as the Phantom, but he vocally can't beat Ramin Karimloo for me. I think he was mysterious and strong, but not the vocal presence at all times that I think the Phantom should be.
I personally had a problem with Raoul in this production. I think he didn't show his pain enough and wasn't as emotive as I would have hoped. Specifically in "Why Does She Love Me," you couldn't even tell he had been drinking all night. I'm not sure Raoul was portrayed as well as he could have been.
I was impressed with both of the Girys. The actress who played Meg, Sharon Millerchip, was extremely good and really showed the pain Meg feels throughout the musical, but didn't fit my vision of what I think Meg is. Maria Mercedes who played Madame Giry was amazing in all the ways that character should be: strict, strong, and emotional. And her killer voice didn't hurt.
Overall, I enjoyed it a lot and can see how the production has received the response it has in Australia. While I love a lot of the music (Till I Hear You Sing is my favorite Webber song of all time), I think the score was overly repetitive and I think some of the filming did not help show the grandeur that this production seemingly had. I think the story changes since the concept recording and original production are worthwhile and definitely add a new layer to the story. I recommend seeing it and am interested to see what this film does for the show's future in the U.S.