By Adam Hetrick
22 Aug 2011
As previously reported, the Melbourne engagement of the lavish sequel to The Phantom of the Opera will be filmed for global DVD release. Representatives for the production told Playbill.com that performances will be filmed Sept. 12-15, but only the Sept. 15 performance will be captured before a live audience.
A release date for the DVD of Love Never Dies has yet to be announced.
It has also been revealed that Love Never Dies will end its Melbourne run at the Regent Theatre Dec. 18 prior to moving to Sydney's Capitol Theatre in January 2012. Disney's Mary Poppins currently plays the Capitol through mid-December.
After a cool critical response to the original London production of Love Never Dies, Lloyd Webber enlisted a completely new Australian creative team, including Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips and scenic-costume designer Gabriela Tylesova, to give the production a darker, more brooding approach. It also incorporates revisions to the script and score first implemented in London last fall.
The Melbourne production earned Australia's Helpmann Awards for Best Costume and Best Scenic Design for a Musical (Tylesova) and Best Lighting Design for a Musical (Nick Schlieper).
Ben Lewis, who appeared in the original Australian casts of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Spamalot, stars as the Phantom, opposite Anna O'Byrne as soprano Christine Daaé. O'Byrne previously played the role in an Australian tour of The Phantom of the Opera.
Love Never Dies has choreography by Graeme Murphy, 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 Tony nominee Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid). The book is by Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Slater. Phantom lyricist Charles Hart is also credited with additional lyrics for the latest incarnation of the sequel.
Australia has always been part of the international plan for Love Never Dies, which premiered in London in March 2010. However, critics were cool on the lushly scored musical, which was to premiere on Broadway in November 2010 but has since scuttled New York plans. The London production also went on a brief hiatus last fall to undergo structural changes. It will end its run Aug. 27 at the Adelphi Theatre.
The original London production of Love Never Dies 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.