Baz Bamigboye of The Daily Mail Online reported that Phantom: Love Never Dies will star Boggess (who was Christine in Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular) and Ramin Karimloo (who plays the masked tenor in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera).
The question is, where will they bow? Lloyd Webber has said he wants to have three simultaneous openings of the show — on Broadway, in London and in Shanghai, in late 2009. The feasibility is still being determined by the composer and his partners.
As previously announced, Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, The Coast of Utopia) will direct; Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins, Tarzan) is the designer; Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid) is the lyricist.
Representatives for composer-librettist Lloyd Webber and Boggess could not confirm the accuracy of the casting report. Boggess and the Iranian-born Canadian Karimloo have reportedly worked on Love Never Dies in the project's developmental workshops.
In Love Never Dies, the disfigured Phantom — who released his beloved soprano and her love, Raoul, at the end of The Phantom of the Opera, and then disappeared in a flash — has been relocated from the Paris Opera to Brooklyn's Coney Island. Christine apparently has a son, and is unhappily married to a now dissipated Raoul. The new story was created by Lloyd Webber, lyricist Slater, director O'Brien "and a twist of it was given to us by Ben Elton," the composer previously said. The Phantom of the Opera, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, recently celebrated its 21st anniversary at Broadway's Majestic Theatre. A London production also continues, as do productions all over the world (including a long-running North American tour). Harold Prince directed the original.
Boggess made her Broadway debut as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She originated the role of Christine Daae in the 90-minute retooled Phantom in Las Vegas, directed by Prince. Her other credits include the national tour of Les Misérables, the world premiere of Princesses (Binky) for Goodspeed Musicals and 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. She was a soloist in Lincoln Center's American Songbook: The Lyrics of David Zippel.
Successful sequels to musicals are rare, but The Phantom of the Opera is an international brand with millions of diehard fans and repeat customers.
The Daily Mail also reported that songs from Love Never Dies may premiere on this season's "American Idol" competition.