Andrew Lloyd Webber sets opening days for 'Phantom' sequel
"Love Never Dies," the long-awaited musical sequel to the "The Phantom of the Opera," officially has an opening date.
In a statement today, Andrew Lloyd Webber said the musical will first open in London at the Adelphi Theatre on March 9. And it will open on Broadway on Nov. 11, 2010 at an as-yet-unnamed theater.
Set in Coney Island in New York, "Love Never Dies" picks up 10 years after the story of "Phantom," as the title character moves from his lair in the Paris Opera House to the fairgrounds of the popular Long Island locale. The show will star Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine in the London production.
"There's unfinished business," Lloyd Webber told a group of journalists in London, according to the Associated Press. "I don't regard this as a sequel; it's a standalone piece." The AP also reported that he wanted to create a new production because he thought the ending of the original was too boring.
Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien will stage the production. The music is by Lloyd Webber, who co-wrote the book; the lyrics are by Glenn Slater.
The album for "Love Never Dies" has been recorded and will be released to coincide with the London world premiere.
The new opening dates represent a delay, because people in the industry had originally expected the show to bow in the fall of 2009 in a simultaneous worldwide rollout.
"Love Never Dies" is also set to open in Australia sometime in 2011.
-- David Ng
Photo: Andrew Lloyd Webber, left, with Sierra Boggess, who plays Christine Daae, and Ramin Karimloo, who plays the Phantom. Credit: Matt Dunham / Associated Press