REVIEW: 'Love Never Dies' at The Fox

It’s a noble effort with many facets to recommend, as well as, unfortunately, a first-act that often only slogs along.

Harry Hamm
September 21, 2018 - 4:36 pm

Photo courtesy of The Fox

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“Love Never Dies” is a sequel to “Phantom of the Opera” - a musical so grand it is still running on Broadway coming up on three decades.

It has been a supreme challenge to put together this continuation musical, which hardly measures up to the original. But it’s still a noble effort with many facets to recommend, as well as, unfortunately, a first-act that often only slogs along.

Gardar Thor Cortez as the Phantom gets the evening off to a spectacular start in an opening scene on a ship crossing the Atlantic, where he performs a powerhouse number setting the stage for this story and getting the “hook” into the audience.

The storyline has the Phantom fleeing Paris in 1907 and setting up a side show of freaks and oddities on Coney Island. When Christine (played by the fabulous soprano Meghan Picerno) embarks on a trip to New York with her husband and son to open a new musical theater for Oscar Hammerstein, the Phantom intercepts her and the family, convincing her to do a one-song concert for him at twice the money.

Of course, when you’re dealing with the Phantom, nothing is really as it seems.

Christine’s husband is played by Sean Thompson. Her son is played by Jake Heston Miller. The entire lead, featured and supporting cast are magnificent. However, the music doesn’t always match the talent.

From a production standpoint, “Love Never Dies” is an even bigger and more colorful show than “Phantom of the Opera,” minus the chandelier, of course. If Act 1 had only been as strong as Act II, which is full of tension, drama and a major unexpected event, “Love Never Dies” would have been as good as the original. The 15-piece orchestra is awesome and worth the price of a ticket.

The Phantom has a reputation of being a perfectionist. But this production is far from perfect.

3 1/2 Stars