“Love Never Dies picks up ten years after ‘Phantom’, which was set in the 1880s, but somehow lands in 1907 Coney Island, where the Phantom reunites with his stalking victim, Christine Daaé, and other characters from the first show. The whole thing plays like misguided ‘Phantom’ fanfic, and after negative reviews in London the musical never came to Broadway as had been planned. Happily, an Australian production starring Ben Lewis and Anna O’Byrne was filmed in 2011, providing a record of this fascinating misfire.
Of special interest is ‘The Beauty Underneath’, a sequence in which the Phantom yells a rock song as he leads a boy (his son with Christine, we soon learn) through an insane hall of mirrors populated by caged freaks, pinhead children, writhing women, a skeleton monster, a mermaid and a guy on a penny-farthing bicycle. This number must be seen by everyone.”
A different Lloyd Webber musical streams each week on The Shows Must Go On!, a new YouTube channel devoted to this project. Each show goes live on the channel on Friday at 7pm BST and usually remains viewable for 48 hours afterward.
In addition to full-length videos, the channel streams clips and behind-the-scenes footage. (Lloyd Webber has already shared several individual songs, performed by himself at his piano, in sweet videos on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.) Links to charitable organisations are provided.
Two musicals in the series were announced initially, and the rest are being unveiled week by week.