a date with andrew lloyd webber

I'm a big fan of Andrew Llyod Webber due to the music we played in the band in the secondary school days. The Phantom of the Opera remains one of my favourite musicals for its heartwrenching love story - I'm a hopeless romantic at heart despite the stone cold appearance I put up - such that I've even read the book and watched the movie at least twice.

Hence, the moment I heard about its sequel - Love Never Dies - being played in The Regent Theatre in Melbourne, I had no patience to wait for it to come to Sydney and decided to fly that distance for a super date with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lucky for me, I managed to buy some discounted tickets for extremely great seats for their value.

Because Phantom was such a sensation, and still is after so many decades, Webber has a lot of Phans' expectations to meet. I was blown away by the spectacular sets, lighting, costumes and choreography - they were amazing compared to the Phantom experience I got in the Lyric Theatre in Star City, Sydney 3 years ago.

As for the music, I still prefer those in the Phantom. Despite me listening to its OST over and over after the musical, there's not one single signature piece from the whole album that creates an impact like so many of the pieces from its predecessor.

Plot wise, there are a few things in Love Never Dies that I couldn't reconcile with the Phantom. Are they meant to be watched as standalone musicals? I couldn't quite match some of Christine's feelings in the sequel back to the Phantom. *shrugs* Also, I felt that whoever came up with the storyline together with Webber tried too hard to please everyone with the ending. It is precisely the sad and imperfect endings in so many legendary love stories that made them linger on in people's hearts decade after decade. Happy endings get forgotten in a jiff.

All in all, I still thoroughly enjoyed Love Never Dies and would urge all to catch it, if not in Melbourne, then in Sydney when it arrives here next year.

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