You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Phantom’ sequel to bow in London

'Love' to premiere at Adelphi Theater Nov. 11

LONDON — The phantom finally has a date.

Love Never Dies,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-awaited sequel to his blockbuster tuner “The Phantom of the Opera,” will premiere March 9 at London’s Adelphi Theater before bowing on Broadway Nov. 11 and in Australia in 2011.

Originally skedded for fall 2009, the delayed production was to have opened simultaneously in London, New York and an Asian city rumored to be Shanghai. The London premiere is now set to take place some distance ahead of its international rollout, with previews in the West End beginning Feb. 20. Lloyd Webber announced the new schedule for the show at a press conference Thursday in London.

The already recorded cast album will be released on March 10, the morning after the show’s world premiere.

Staged by the “Hairspray” team of director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, the production has a book by Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton, with Glenn Slater and Frederick Forsyth, and lyrics by Slater (“The Little Mermaid,” “Sister Act”). 

It will be designed by Bob Crowley with lighting by Paule Constable. Ramin Karimloo will play the Phantom, with Sierra Boggess (“The Little Mermaid”) as Christine. Both actors are revisiting roles they have played before — Karimloo in the London “Phantom” and Boggess in “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular.” No further casting has yet been announced.

Set 10 years after “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Love Never Dies” continues the story of the obsessive Phantom, who has moved from the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of New York’s Coney Island.  

The follow-up has its work cut out for it in trying to emulate the success of “Phantom,” which is still running in London after more than 9,500 performances since its first preview on Sept. 27, 1986. It is also Broadway’s longest-running show (it opened on the Rialto in January 1988) and has been seen by 100 million people worldwide, been translated into 15 languages and appeared in 25 countries including China, Brazil, Poland and Korea. Global album sales are in excess of 40 million copies. The producers describe “The Phantom of the Opera” as the single most successful piece of entertainment of all time, with a total worldwide gross of $5 billion.

Tickets for the musical sequel in London will have a top price of £67.50 ($108) — a new high for the West End.

With work on “Love Never Dies” continuing through much of next year in London and New York, that schedule places a question mark over the timeline for “Catch Me if You Can,” the tuner adaptation of the 2002 Steven Spielberg film, also directed and choreographed by O’Brien and Mitchell, respectively. The show had a tryout run in Seattle this summer, and while no Broadway plans are firmed, legit insiders have been speculating about a possible spring opening.

“We’re weighing all of our options, but we can’t comment at this time,” said Michael Hartman, a spokesman for the show. However, the timing of “Love Never Dies” in London and New York leaves a window open for “Catch Me” to come into Gotham at some point in between.

(David Rooney in New York contributed to this report.)

More Scene

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

  • Charlize Theron speaks at the GEANCO

    Charlize Theron Talks 'White Privilege,' Growing Up During Apartheid in South Africa

    Charlize Theron, during an onstage discussion with her “Gringo” costar David Oyelowo about philanthropy at Thursday’s annual fundraiser for Nigerian children’s educational and health program GEANCO, said she was a beneficiary of “white privilege” while growing up in Apartheid-torn South Africa. “I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege,” Theron said [...]

  • Lyliana Wray, Sam Ashe Arnold, Miya

    ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Revival Team on Living Up to the Series’ Legacy

    The 2019 revival of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” centers around the Carnival of Doom, a place that star Jeremy Ray Taylor (“It Chapter Two”) describes as “beautiful on the outside, but…in the middle of it, there are definitely dark secrets. Variety caught up with the young star during a carnival-themed celebration at Row DTLA [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron Speaks Immigration, Diversity in ‘The Addams Family’

    They’re creepy, they’re kooky, and they’re an allegory for immigration in America.  Charlize Theron discussed the changing face of the nuclear family and her animated film, “The Addams Family,” with Variety at the movie’s recent premiere at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles. “When you think of [the Addams] being around since the sixties, [...]

  • Emma Stone attends the Los Angeles

    Emma Stone Talks 'Cruella' Transformation, New 'Zombieland' Sequel

    Despite inevitable comparisons to Glenn Close’s iconic turn as Cruella de Vil in 1996’s “101 Dalmatians,” Emma Stone teased that her take on the infamous villain in the upcoming “Cruella” movie will be very distinctive. “It comes long before her story,” Stone told Variety at the premiere of “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Regency Village [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content