Lemonnator

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

Love has died: The only Lloyd Webber musical I loathe

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

It was bad. 

It was SO bad.

I didn’t even watch it. I read the synopsis and it was SO bad.  

“Love Never Dies”, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “The Phantom of the Opera” is as horrible as Carlotta’s singing. Let us take this self-proclaimed “politics” blog away from the usual boring current affairs that no one cares about and talk about this tragedy of a musical. 

The reason I am so emotionally traumatised by that damn Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Never_Dies_(musical)) is that it reads exactly like FANFICTION. Fanfiction unnaturally prolongs stories – GOOD, legendary stories – beyond their original ending. In this case, the extension was that Christine Daae HAD SEX WITH THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA the night before their wedding, got KNOCKED UP by her Angel of Music and then conveniently didn’t tell Raoul that oops, he isn’t your biological son; he’s actually the Phantom’s.

It ruins EVERYTHING that I, and about a million other people, loved about the original musical. Let’s not undermine the story and the great ending of the Phantom of the Opera: The Phantom desperately, desperately loved Christine and loved her so much that he – err – abducted her and killed many people. But more importantly, in the end, he chooses to let Christine spend the rest of her life with Raoul, the dashing Viscount who was Christine’s playmate when they were three. So, the Phantom – in spite of a lifetime of abuse and torture and loneliness and desperation to be loved – actually chooses to let his only love and his musical protege (let’s not forget Christine was rather indebted to the Phantom for her singing voice and fame) leave to find her own happy ending with the Viscount. Kind of a “tragic hero”. And it was this tragic story of the Phantom that made the musical a real romance musical about selfless love (obsessive love, but, you know, selfless).

AND IN THIS SEQUEL ‘Love Never Dies”: all of this is undermined because:

1) The Phantom becomes this selfish person who lures Christine to Coney Island, living off the money Meg Giry makes from being a prostitute

2) Meg, Christine’s best friend, kills….wait for it…..Christine. Because she’s jealous of how much the Phantom likes her. I personally feel this is unnecessary drama (artificially prolonging the original story which should have been left right where it ended)

3) The Phantom is no longer a sad and alone character doomed to live a life of misery. Because ta-da! He’s got a son now whoo!

And the list goes on. Like how the dashing Viscount who risked his life for Christine now becomes an alcoholic. He is married to a wife who thinks about reuniting with the captor she wanted to be free from (go figure). I watched three seconds of the ending of this sequel on YouTube and the Phantom has just seemed to have lost his mystique – that dark, dangerous, Angel of Music thing of disappearing into a cloud of smoke. He seems normal, human, mellowed out – very un-musical genius, very un-Phantom. 

It’s all about leaving it at its proper ending: Christine gets her happily ever after and the Phantom, who gave Christine her talent, doesn’t. The Phantom of the Opera gives you loads of things to contemplate, such as, Stockholm Syndrome, selflessness and, perhaps, compassion to the world’s “freaks”. It was a moving story, a sad and emotional musical that is being butchered by a sequel that doesn’t give its audience anything to learn (except that sequels are bad).

I love Andrew Lloyd Webber, I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY DO. When I was very young, I used to watch the Donny Osmond version of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” over and over and over; I like “Evita”; and even though the 2004 “Phantom of the Opera” film wasn’t as great as the stage musical, I watched that over and over as well. Andrew Lloyd Webber  is amazing. And I forgive him for this musical, because when he was putting this sequel together, he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Being poorly messes with your mind, even if you are a musical genius. 

Love Never Dies, but it certainly does get KILLED, with horrible sequels like this one. 

 

 

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