The Phantom of the Opera Heads to … Coney Island?

Although the Andrew Lloyd Webber play and subsequent film version of Phantom of the Opera were admittedly light on horror, the Phantom himself is still one of the big daddies of the genre as far as we’re concerned, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t let you guys know about an in-the-works sequel from Webber entitled Love Never Dies set in, of all place, Coney Island, New York.

Canada’s Coast Reporter had some of the best details we could dig up on the production, which does seem to have a bit more genre elements than the original, as follows:

Star composer Andrew Lloyd Webber announced a long-awaited sequel to his massively successful “Phantom of the Opera,” one of the world’s best loved and longest running musicals.

“There’s unfinished business,” Webber told journalists assembled for a teaser – a new song featuring the titular Phantom, played by Ramin Karimloo (who previously portrayed the character in London), and his love interest Christine, played by American Sierra Boggess (who made her Broadway debut two years ago creating the lead role of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”). “I don’t regard this as a sequel; it’s a standalone piece,” Webber said.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Launching Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is due to open in London in March. The musical also will be staged in New York beginning November 2010 and will open in Australia in 2011. The musical picks up a decade after the original’s conclusion and has the Phantom trading his customary hideout beneath the Paris opera house for Coney Island, the iconic Brooklyn amusement park known for its roller coasters and “Nathan’s Famous” hot dogs.

Webber said he wanted to produce a sequel because the original’s ending, which sees Christine leave the brooding Phantom for his rival Raoul, was unsatisfactory. “Christine goes off with this boring guy, the Phantom disappears,” Webber said. He said he wanted to set the piece at Coney Island because, at its turn-of-the-century heyday, it was “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Webber sketched out a broad outline of the plot, saying that the Phantom made his way to Coney Island after losing Christine. The Phantom rises from one of the attractions at a freak show to control the entire complex, without ever losing his love for Christine. Other characters from the original also reprise their roles.

For more visit the official Love Never Dies website, where you can pre-order tickets for the London shows at the Adelphi Theatre and the album of the show’s tunes.

Uncle Creepy

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Steve Barton

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