Monday, July 26, 2010

Love: It Never Dies (Except When It Does)

If you have been within earshot of me in the last several months you have probably heard me complaining about Love Never Dies and all its many faults (they are many). But ever since I found out we were coming to London, it has been on our to do list. Actually, the way I broke the job news to Mr. Graham was by saying "We should go see Love Never Dies. In LONDON."

I'm not going to list all my complaints here because I hate to be a broken record and rehash everything I've already said six times. I will just say that I think it tramples on the original in a way that is neither good nor necessary. In fact the whole thing is just ridiculous and unnecessary. Aside from all of those things, we just felt compelled to see it anyway. Those of you who know my Van Helsing love will not be surprised.

So tonight we saw it for ourselves. It was exciting to see the original cast of something, since I never had done. Luckily Madame Giry had toned down her accent so that I didn't hear horses neigh constantly. It was, in general, pretty much what I expected. There were some cool technical things, but overall I think it's just kind of underwhelming (and frustrating in its lack of logic and consistency).

Going into it there was only one song ("Til I Hear You Sing") that I was really looking forward to, since I have listened to it at least 20 times now. And he delivered! He delivered so well! If I had thought to bring pom poms, I would have waved them about spiritedly. And now I give it to you, in the form of a super dramatic music video on YouTube. It might be best if you just play it and not watch the video, for maximum enjoyment. Here is the Phantom, in his new incarnation, which is romantic and lovable and non-threatening (somewhere Joseph Buquet is protesting).

(Or you can watch this version, which is quite wretched in its drama.)

But then there wound up being another song that just kind of amazed me, this time the title track from Christine. I am not really into belty woman show tunes--those are the songs I always usually skip--and until now this song was no different. But by the time it was over, Mr. Graham and I were both sitting quite dumb founded. It's not the same watching it without the build up of the story and such, but you can watch her sing it live anyway. Just know that in person it was

(Or you can watch this version.)

So, when all was said and done, I decided that it was totally worth the pounds for those two songs. And...I would totally see it again for those two songs, sung by these two people. Otherwise I would rather just spend time with Gerard.


  1. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Webber's sequel to Phantom - LOVE NEVER DIES - destroys the original characters and story written by Gaston Leroux. Theatre critics around the world disliked the show giving it less than 3 stars, while audience members have called the production 'Paint Never Dries'. If you're going to go see a show, go see the original - The Phantom of the Opera - and forget about Love Never Dies. LOVE SHOULD DIE!

  2. It's true, it does destroy some of the characters (it treats Raoul and Meg most harshly, all at the expense of completely rewriting the Phantom--Mr. Y? What the heck does that even stand for?), and of course the original is better in probably pretty much every way, but LND was better than (or at least as bad as) expected, and really was saved by the excellent cast and two or three high points. Amazing how they totally made up for all the other ridiculous things going on for us. Still, I don't expect it to have the lasting power of PotO.

  3. How did I not hear that song of Gerry's before?! *sigh*