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Love Never Dies

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Album Review

Few musicals have enjoyed the cultural (and financial) longevity of The Phantom of the Opera. Lyricists Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, and composer Andre Lloyd Webber’s take on the classic French novel by author Gaston Leroux, opened in 1986 with no endgame in sight, which makes one wonder why it took so long to cash in and make a sequel. In 2010, Webber, along with writer Glenn Slater, who won a Tony for his work on the 2007 stage adaptation of the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid, brought Christine Daaé and the Phantom together again in Love Never Dies. Set ten years after the events of the first installment, the Phantom has lured his muse from Paris to New York City for a performance (that unbeknownst to her, he set up) at a new venue called Phantasma in Coney Island. High drama and tragedy ensue (fans of the original will revel in the gothic splendor of pieces like “The Coney Island Waltz” and the crafty/schmaltzy ballads “Til I Hear You Sing” and “Love Never Dies”), allowing Webber to spin a predictable but effective new set of themes that both celebrate the half-masked anti-hero’s pipe organ past while allowing him to evolve (as much as he can with his anger issues and addiction to heartache) beneath the formidable shadows of the Big Apple.

Biography

Born: 22 March 1948 in London, England

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) is the most successful composer of musicals of his generation and also a breaker of molds for the type. His predecessors were, for the most part, American: New York-based songwriters steeped in Broadway tradition. Lloyd Webber saw his share of shows as a child, too, but he was born in London, the son of William Lloyd Webber, Director of the London College of Music, and was trained at the Royal Academy of Music, hardly the sort of place where you'd be likely to hear Oklahoma!...
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