By Adam Hetrick
04 May 2011
Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips is helming the Melbourne production, which will begin previews May 21 at the Regent Theatre, with performances booking through Aug. 7. A fresh Australian design team has been assembled to give the production a darker physical approach.
Fixes to the book, which were implemented in the West End production last fall, are to be incorporated. Phantom lyricist Charles Hart is also credited with additional lyrics for the latest incarnation of the sequel. Lloyd Webber penned the score to Love Never Dies sequel with lyrics by Tony nominee Glenn Slater.
Previously announced leads Lewis and O’Byrne will star as the Phantom and Christine, respectively, with Gleeson as Raoul. Also joining them are Sharon Millerchip as Meg and Maria Mercedes as Madame Giry.
Completing the ensemble are Andrew Broadbent, Renee Burleigh, Colin Dean, Andrew Dunne, Giordano Gangl, Stephanie Grigg, Erin Hasan, Matt Holly, Ben Hudson, Erin James, Adele Johnston, Claire Lyon, Kristy Mackenzie, Matthew McFarlane, Jessica Mechielsen, Meredith O'Reilly, Adam Rennie, Lisa Reynolds, Pharic Scott, Kathryn Sgroi, Ellen Simpson, Tod Strike and Brendan Yeates.
Love Never Dies has choreography by Graeme Murphy, with new set and costume designs by Gabriela Tylesova. The production has lighting by Nick Schlieper (War of the Roses, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), with original London sound designer Mick Potter and orchestrator David Cullen also on board. Guy Simpson (The Phantom of the Opera) serves as musical supervisor.
Set ten years after the conclusion of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies follows soprano Christine Daae to New York's Coney Island, where she is invited to perform for the mysterious Mr. Y. Characters from her past begin to emerge, including one with whom she shares a dark secret.
Love Never Dies has a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid). The book is by Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Slater.
The original London production of Love Never Dies debuted in winter 2010 at the Adelphi Theatre, where it continues its run. That production was directed by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien and has choreography by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell. Bob Crowley rendered the original West End production designs.