"Phantom of the Opera" sequel launched in London



LONDON- Andrew Lloyd Webber launched the long-awaited sequel to his global hit "Phantom of the Opera" on Thursday, which will see the action transfer from Paris to a New York fairground.
"Love Never Dies" was unveiled at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, where "Phantom" opened 23 years ago this week, launching a theatrical phenomenon which has been seen by some 100 million people worldwide.



"Phantom of the Opera" sequel launched in London
The new production, which will open next year, picks up the story a decade on as the Phantom has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt New York's Coney Island.
Iranian-born Ramin Karimloo will star as the Phantom, having already played the role in the "Phantom of the Opera" on the London stage.
The role of Christine will be played by US actress Sierra Boggess, who made her Broadway debut two years ago creating the lead role of Ariel in Disney's "The Little Mermaid".
Summer Strallen, who has starred as Maria in Lloyd Webber's production of "The Sound of Music" in London, will take the role of Meg Giry.
Lloyd Webber said the sequel had been 17 years in the making, but he credited British comedian and writer Ben Elton with helping him create a story that would work three years ago.
"It is the love story that is the essence of the piece. I tried to develop that story as much as I can," he told reporters.
"I don't regard this as a sequel," he continued. "I regard this as a completely stand-alone piece... There are practically no quotes from the original show at all. It's a completely new show."
The theatre impressario said he was ruling out any more sequels.
"No, there's not going to be a sequel set in Tahiti... I can't give away the ending but I can't see that the story could possibly continue."
The show will have its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London on March 9 next year, followed by its US premiere at an as yet unspecified theatre in New York on November 11, 2010.
Lloyd Webber said it was possible that more productions would open worldwide at roughly the same time as the New York show.
"We did have the idea of opening the show simultaneously in three different countries... But your first casting is so crucial that we didn't want to take that risk," he said.
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Friday, October 9th 2009
AFP
           


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