The Stage reports that the working title for Lloyd Webber's new musical is Phantom: Once Upon Another Time. The celebrated composer told BBC, "I have got my own new show coming on next year, which is my sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, which I think is going to be called Phantom: Once Upon Another Time. But that will come on in November next year, probably, if everything goes well."
A Lloyd Webber spokesperson told Playbill.com March 26 that American lyricist (and 2008 Tony nominee) Glenn Slater is now working on words to Lloyd Webber's music for the sequel to the smash international hit.
With composer Alan Menken, Slater wrote new songs for the Disney Broadway musical, The Little Mermaid, as well as the dawning musicals Leap of Faith and Sister Act.
Lloyd Webber will have book and music credit on the Phantom sequel, in which the title character travels to Coney Island around 1900 and is reunited with soprano Christine. The show is not based on source material.
Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia) is to direct the project. Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia) will be the designer. Frederick Forsyth, who wrote a novel called "The Phantom of Manhattan," was reportedly working with Lloyd Webber on the sequel in its early stages, but that is no longer the case.
The Daily Mail previously described the sequel plot this way: "The Phantom has slipped away to New York and has set up a fairground world on Coney Island, along with Madame Giry and her daughter, Meg. He organizes a concert in Manhattan for Christine, the object of his desire. Christine travels to the U.S. with her husband Raoul and their teenage son, who happens to be a musical genius...just like the Phantom."
The winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Phantom of the Opera (which originated in London) became the longest-running show in Broadway history on Jan. 9, 2006. It surpassed Lloyd Webber's Cats, which was a record-holder for its run of 7,485 performances. Phantom celebrated 20 years on Broadway in January 2008.
Lloyd Webber turned 60 March 22 (which is also composer Stephen Sondheim's birthday).
The Harold Prince-directed production of The Phantom of the Opera continues at the Majestic Theatre.
In addition to the above-named shows, Lloyd Webber's theatre work also includes Aspects of Love, The Beautiful Game, Whistle Down the Wind, By Jeeves, Starlight Express, The Woman in White, Tell Me on a Sunday, Song & Dance and more.