While a spokesman for the production said on Tuesday that “Love Never Dies” was still set for the Neil Simon Theater in the spring, the director and choreographer of the show in London, Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell, who were expected to work on the Broadway version, have left the production to focus on their new musical “Catch Me If You Can,” according to two Broadway producers who are not involved with either show, but have spoken with the men.It is a shame to hear that this much hyped sequel to Phantom will not be coming to Broadway, as it wasn’t completely without merit. I had made a special trip out to London shortly after the production opened to catch it on the West End, and while I agree that the book was a bit sloppy, I would never have thought it needed a complete reboot. However, the score does remain the best part of the musical, so at least there is a positive note to the entire debacle, seeing how Lloyd Webber seems insistent that he will keep the music alive, albeit with a different physical production. Sequels rarely work on the silver screen, but it would be fun to see a successful follow-up on Broadway. Those rare creatures haven’t fared too well over the years, either. Until then, I’ll keep my Love Never Dies cast recording in iTunes and playback a few of the melodies every now and again. This has inspired me to revisit Phantom here on Broadway. Perhaps it will do the same to other theater-lovers. It was, after all, my first exposure to the Broadway stage. Nothing like having Michael Crawford donning a phantom mask setting you on a course for a life associated with Broadway.
Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage sequel to the long-running Phantom of the Opera, might have been dealt a fatal blow, thanks in part to devastating reviews on the West End and a director and choreographer jumping ship, all before a promised Broadway run. Michael Ridel reports in the New York Post: “In the theater, “indefinitely” has a way of becoming “absolutely not gonna happen” — and that, London theater sources say, is what’s happened to [Love Never Dies]. The $15 million London production… will not be seen in New York. Ever.” Riedel goes on to say that Lloyd Webber will be taking his Love Never Dies score and “salvage” things with new creative teams, in two different productions, both Australia and Toronto. Meanwhile, the other trusty New York paper, The New York Times, has a slightly less doomsday scenario report on Love Never Dies, with Patick Healy avoiding any mention of rebooted productions, but confirming that both director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell have ditched the dying production.