Love Should Die © 2010 All rights reserved. LSD logo images are recreations and breach no Intellectual Property Rights of RUG Ltd.

Audience member who saw the original London cast of PHANTOM horrified by @loveneverdies

May 19, 2010

 

A theatergoer who saw the original cast of the original PHANTOM with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman visits @loveneverdies...and is horrified:

 

"Seeing 'Love Never Dies' tonight made me wonder: has Andrew Lloyd Webber actually seen 'The Phantom of the Opera'? How did that gothic tale of love and the macabre turn into this?

 

I was very lucky to see the original cast of 'Phantom', which was a tremendous mix of gothic horror, stunning sets and staging, wonderful casting, and a great story. It seems that luck should have been thrown in there as well, since so few of those things are present in this new incarnation. Though there were some handsome set pieces, it's been ages since I've seen scenes set in front of a black curtain, and the sparseness of the set seemed extremely flat (there's probably a metaphor in there as well). And for me, the music was almost entirely forgettable.

 

The book is indeed appalling -- all fault to Ben Elton and Lloyd Webber -- but most unforgivable is that they have completely ignored the original story in order to put forth what only feels like an attempt to make money out of a forgetful and undemanding audience base."

 

Source: Comment left at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2010/mar/10/love-never-dies-review

 

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A response to comments made by Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, April 2010

April 20, 2010

 

We temporarily interrupt the indefinite hiatus of the members of the ‘Love Should Die’ team responsible for its official press announcements to bring you an important but brief message concerning a recent development from the London production of the non-awaited and unnecessary sequel to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

 

 

* * *

 

 

In a recent interview with BroadwayWorld.com, linked to below, the two principal stars of LOVE NEVER DIES, Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, were asked about the overwhelmingly negative fan reaction to this horrendous show and the absurd plotline and character assassination that takes place within it.

 

Ramin Karimloo says the following (quoted verbatim):

 

“I get quite passionate about that. Why should [the characters] stay the same? What story are we going to tell if they're the same?”

 

Well, quite, Mr Karimloo. The point is that no story needed to be told. The final scene of the original THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which is based heavily on the original ending to the novel that started it all by Gaston Leroux, sees Christine grow up from a naïve girl to a compassionate woman, who gives the Phantom his one true taste of happiness that is to be his first and his last. This compassionate act – a simple kiss – is so overwhelming for the Phantom that, in expression of true sacrificial love, he releases Christine and lets her go free with her childhood love, Raoul. In doing so, he redeems his past crimes, before declaring that the music of the night is OVER. This scene has had audiences in tears for over two decades and has had readers of Leroux’s novel in tears for 100 years. It is a complete and fulfilling story, that, albeit tragic, is so emotionally moving it has stood the test of time.

 

LOVE NEVER DIES offers the Phantom a ‘second chance’. We do not deny that audiences have longed for this second chance; this was the intention of the legendary director Harold Prince from the outset. But it is important to note that Mr Prince also stated that it was important for audiences to realize that any other ending would be hugely unrealistic and unbelievable given the emotional and mental instability of the Phantom. But to see this second chance actually realized on stage simply panders to an adolescent wish that not only ignores reality and is emotionally untrue, but completely reverses the redemption of the Phantom and the character development of Christine. In other words, the characters already changed – for the better, some would say, despite the tragic ending – in the final scene of the original.

 

To undergo the changes incurred by the characters in LOVE NEVER DIES (The Phantom from a genius composer but also a psychopath to a banal composer of trashy vaudeville with no menace whatsoever; Christine from courageous woman to indecisive whore; Meg from innocent ballerina to a topless-dancing murderer; Raoul from a handsome nobleman to a drunken wreck) is not believable whatsoever. Change is all very well and good. But the changes in LOVE NEVER DIES are preposterous and cannot be taken seriously by audiences. This was evident right from the start when fans first read Frederick Forsyth’s abysmal THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN and is still evident today when audiences audibly laugh during ‘The Beauty Underneath’, a ridiculous scene from LOVE NEVER DIES.

 

It is of interest that Mr Karimloo believes in not telling the same story twice, when this is what, in reality, LOVE NEVER DIES does. The overall structure is repeated for a second time (from the prologue set years later to the flashback to the Phantom and Raoul once again competing for Christine’s love) simply to allow Christine to change her final decision and stay with the Phantom in order to satisfy the adolescent wishes of the lowest common denominator.

 

“Take these extraordinary circumstances - they can't be the same people. They just can't be. As an actor I wouldn't want to play that same story in a different scenario. I've just done it for two years. They have to be different, and they are. You have to honour what happened, choices Christine and the Phantom would have made in their lives, all those repercussions. Let it be known that Sierra is nodding!”

 

Indeed, Mr Karimloo, these are extraordinary circumstances for all the principal characters to suddenly end up in the same place, Co(r)ney Island. And how extraordinary for “ten years later” to cover the period from 1881 to 1907. How extraordinary that the audience must assume Gustave to be the son of the Phantom and Christine merely on the basis that he is 10 years old, when he could quite legitimately be Raoul’s, especially since the duration of pregnancy would seem to favor the latter possibility as the reality. How extraordinary that the Phantom is years younger in a sequel to his original story. Does Dr Who feature in this story? It may serve to make it more plausible and even more kid-friendly.

 

“Just go and see the first one.”

 

This is excellent advice that we are sure most fans of the original PHANTOM will heed.

 

“How can [the fans] feel such passionate hatred for something? If they use their resources and energy for something useful, think of what could have happened. It's a piece of art.”

 

Ah, but Mr Karimloo, ‘Love Should Die’’s mission was by no means a futile exercise. Have a read of this: http://www.facebook.com/no


te.php?note_id=35708249194


9&1&index=0

 

We quote from the above link:

 

“Our mission at 'Love Should Die' was very simple and consisted of two basic elements:

 

i) to provide a platform for PHANTOM fans to speak out against this illogical sequel;

 

ii) to alter completely the image perpetuated by the Really Useful Group and the world press that PHANTOM fans have been eagerly awaiting this sequel since the publication of Frederick Forsyth's THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN.

 

In both, we have succeeded. Concerning the second point, our efforts have most certainly not been in vain. Having originally declared that PHANTOM fans could not wait for the sequel in October 2009, Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group can no longer use this completely false image to promote LOVE NEVER DIES. All over the world, papers have been reporting about PHANTOM fans' discontent with the sequel. The result is the following media sources – just some of the many who have referred to us - have now acknowledged the fact that PHANTOM fans who support the original show and the original novel by Gaston Leroux cannot in good conscience support LOVE NEVER DIES:

 

- THE LONDON TIMES

- THE NEW YORK TIMES

- THE NEW YORK POST

- THE LONDON TELEGRAPH

- THE DAILY MAIL

- BBC

- EL MUNDO

- 20MINUTOS.ES

- ASSOCIATED PRESS

- THE DAILY EXPRESS

- THE GUARDIAN

- THE STAGE ONLINE

- THE AUSTRALIAN

- REUTERS”

 

In a nutshell, we got you talking about us in your interview. That wouldn’t have happened without our “resources and energy,” would it? If you are still perplexed, Mr Karimloo, think not of these fans as directing hatred towards LOVE NEVER DIES so much as respect for the artistic integrity and legacy of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

 

Of course, we are tempted to throw that challenge of investing resources and energy into something useful right back at the creative team of LOVE NEVER DIES, because what is currently on stage at the Adelphi Theatre is certainly not "useful".

 

In response to certain comments made by Sierra Boggess:

 

"So the people who got upset, I imagine, were the people who were thinking no, just leave them alone! I don't want to know what happens!"

 

If the fans wanted to know what happens, they were happy to indulge in private fan fiction. Putting fan fiction on stage is merely tasteless and tacky. Gaston Leroux made things explicitly clear in his original novel that the Phantom died, but even those who do not adhere so ardently to Leroux's novel will tell you that the ambiguity of the ending of the original show is what kept people coming back to it. The Phantom is supposed to be mysterious; his final disappearance adds to his appeal as a mysterious figure and allows for a multitude of creative interpretations, which LOVE NEVER DIES attempts to destroy.

 

"In the fairytale language, some people enjoy "and they lived happily ever after". The prince and the princess get married, they live happily ever after."

 

Except PHANTOM is categorically not BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, insofar as Beauty never ends up with the Beast. That was the dose of heartbreaking reality that made PHANTOM so potent, and which LOVE NEVER DIES removes by forcing the Phantom and Christine together. If anything, LOVE NEVER DIES is the show that panders to those who love fairytales.

 

"Andrew and the creators of the show wanted to know what happened afterwards."

 

The creators of which show? None of the creative team of the original PHANTOM are remotely involved with LOVE NEVER DIES, aside from Lloyd Webber himself. By all accounts they do not wish to involve themselves with LOVE NEVER DIES (Harold Prince has said this explicitly).

 

"People like to blame Raoul and I think he gets such a bad rap. He's a good guy."

 

Indeed, yet Ben Elton's awful book for LOVE NEVER DIES merely perpetuates the image of Raoul as a good-for-nothing by turning him into a neglectful father, abusive husband, gambler and alcoholic with no redeeming characteristics.

 

"I don't think there's a need for a Phantom three."

 

There was no need for PHANTOM 2.

 

"Like Andrew has said, in the first one they are sort of two-dimensional characters."

 

We're saddened, Ms Boggess, that you have taken to regurgitating Lord Lloyd-Webber’s PR spin that the original was a piece of “hokum” with “two-dimensional” characters. We somehow doubt this is how Hal Prince encouraged you to view the piece when he directed you in it. If the characters were so two-dimensional, we have to wonder why you both chose to play them. It is a telling sign that, in order to promote LOVE NEVER DIES, Lloyd Webber, O’Brien and yourselves feel it necessary to put down the superior original.

 

"Jack, our director, said I'm not putting you in a performance mode, I'm putting you in a profound psychological play."

 

This comment is frankly so absurd that we're not sure even the most fanatical supporters of LOVE NEVER DIES (do they exist?) can call the show a "profound psychological play". It is no more profound or psychological than an episode of Baywatch.

 

Finally, LOVE NEVER DIES is many things, Mr Karimloo, but we cannot be so sure that one call this gibberish “art”. If it is “art”, then its quality is most certainly dubious.

 

LSD – April 2010.

 

 

* * *

 

 

See the interview referred to in its full original version at: http://www.broadwayworld.c


om/article/Ramin_Karimloo_


And_Sierra_Boggess_Talk_LO


VE_NEVER_DIES_20100419

 

We urge you to leave comments at the bottom of the webpage containing the interview. All comments from the thousands of fans protesting against the sequel are being deleted and censored by BroadwayWorld. We urge you to save your comments and, if they are deleted, re-post them as long as it takes for the censorship to subside.

 

The fans will not be silent.

The Success of Love Should Die (Part 2)

March 9, 2010

 

And that, dear friends, concludes our initiative at 'Love Should Die'. Do feel free to post any further reviews that emanate from the UK press for the sake of discussion.

 

Our mission at 'Love Should Die' was very simple and consisted of two basic elements:

 

i) to provide a platform for PHANTOM fans to speak out against this illogical sequel;

 

ii) to alter completely the image perpetuated by the Really Useful Group and the world press that PHANTOM fans have been eagerly awaiting this sequel since the publication of Frederick Forsyth's THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN.

 

In both, we have succeeded. 'Love Should Die' will remain open and will welcome anyone who maintains this project should have never been given the green light. Feel free to use it to discuss the story of the PHANTOM and what it means to you.

 

Concerning the second point, our efforts have most certainly not been in vain. Having originally declared that PHANTOM fans could not wait for the sequel in October 2009, Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group can no longer use this completely false image to promote LOVE NEVER DIES. All over the world, papers have been reporting about PHANTOM fans' discontent with the sequel (quite frankly, we're astonished this is the case; apparently it's been a slow week for major international news). The result is the following media sources have now acknowledged the fact that PHANTOM fans who support the original show and the original novel by Gaston Leroux cannot in good conscience support LOVE NEVER DIES:

 

- THE LONDON TIMES

- THE NEW YORK TIMES

- THE NEW YORK POST

- THE LONDON TELEGRAPH

- THE DAILY MAIL

- BBC

- EL MUNDO

- 20MINUTOS.ES

- ASSOCIATED PRESS

- THE DAILY EXPRESS

- THE GUARDIAN

- THE STAGE ONLINE

- THE AUSTRALIAN

- REUTERS

 

This is far more than we ever anticipated achieving. The team of LSD would like to thank all the community's fans for their support. We may have earned the wrath of Lord Lloyd-Webber, who has publicly 'disowned' the very fans who have been lining his pockets, not to mention the frustration of all those whose inboxes have been flooded, but provided it is acknowledged that we were not in favor of this, we feel all is well. Once again, we respect everyone's right to like or dislike the sequel. If you wish to see LOVE NEVER DIES, we cannot stop you. That was never our aim. 'Love Should Die' is not a hate campaign. It is not a sabotage, in spite of our tongue-in-cheek name. Its purpose is to remind the world that the sequel is not canon and never will be and that there are many who do not subscribe to the ridiculous book penned by Ben Elton, Frederick Forsyth and Andrew Lloyd Webber, which many of the London critics have highlighted as being the fundamental problem of LOVE NEVER DIES.

 

There is, however, one small correction we feel the press should acknowledge: fans' outrage is not caused by delusions of possessiveness. It is not possessive in the least to object to stories that have no legitimate basis, merely sensible. Protective may be a better word, but there are no delusions of 'ownership' in play here.

 

Our goal having been accomplished, therefore, it is time for LSD to take a backseat as the hype surrounding LOVE NEVER DIES begins to wane, although you can be assured that the Phantom will continue to send us the occasional note and tweet when he is not hard at work in the house on the lake, especially once LOVE NEVER DIES is set to open in New York later this year.

 

In the meantime, we suggest all fans take a moment to appreciate Gaston Leroux's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and the musical of the same name penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe and directed by Harold Prince and remind themselves of just why the original PHANTOM inspires the passions that it does. Our small team---no, we're not just one person, contrary to popular myth---are still around here to hear your opinions, particularly as we think everyone could do with a nice break from the negativity surrounding this overhyped show. It is important to remember that, for all the hype---both positive and negative---LOVE NEVER DIES is just that: only a show.

 

LSD - March 2010

 

P.S. And if anyone dares to make a musical out of COSETTE, the ill-received book sequel to Victor Hugo's LES MISÉRABLES, we daresay the Phantom will certainly not be impressed either...

The Success of Love Should Die (Part 1)

March 6, 2010

 

When the 'Love Should Die' Twitter was originally set up, it was initially intended as a harmless joke among a small number of fans of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA who considered the sequel a preposterous concept at best.

 

Several months later, with a now globally-known Facebook group recognized by the media whose numbers are increasing daily, 'Love Should Die'---its creators and its followers and fans---has managed to transform completely the ignorant perception of the wider world and the media concerning the attitude of PHANTOM fans in relation to the ill-conceived LOVE NEVER DIES.

 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has been billed since 1999 as the most successful entertainment of all time, its gross revenues having surpassed any other venture in history, for better or for worse. It is an ubiquitous cultural product that has broken national boundaries and that has become a classic musical. Like it or loathe it, it has long been acknowledged---even by its producers, Cameron Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group---that a huge factor in its success is the loyalty of its audience, its fans who have supported the show since its beginnings and who continue to support it now.

 

When the press launch of LOVE NEVER DIES took place on 8 October 2009, the producer, Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group (this time producing without Cameron Mackintosh), used the above statistics to boast about PHANTOM's success and use it, quite understandably, as a marketing bedrock for promoting LOVE NEVER DIES. It was quite clearly targeting the fans who had made PHANTOM a huge enduring success as its potential audience. Hours later, videos appeared on YouTube with carefully vetted 'Phans' proclaiming their excitement about LOVE NEVER DIES. Press coverage supplemented this image with claims such as "fans of The Phantom of the Opera have been hoping for a sequel since 1999" (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH) and "fans happy with PHANTOM sequel" (ASSOCIATED PRESS).

 

Even before the press launch, it was well-established that longstanding fans of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA---those who understood its characters and story, in addition to those who were fans of Gaston Leroux's original novel from 1910---were extremely concerned about this ill-conceived sequel, not least because Lloyd Webber had originally tried to go through with the idea in the 1990s, using Frederick Forsyth's abysmal THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN as its basis. These fans did not agree that they could not wait for a sequel. Neither did they agree with the press comments that they had been hoping for a sequel since they fell in love with the original. These press comments were inaccurate, empty hype.

 

Once 'Love Should Die' took off---something entirely unplanned; indeed, its popularity took its creators by surprise---it was obvious that the fans attracted to it should unite to counter these ridiculous claims. As we have previously established in our mission statement ( http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=328954166949 ), our aim was never to sabotage the show or to stir up unnecessary hatred. Our aim was and always has been to counter and ultimately correct the false image perpetuated by the media and the show's producers that this is something that passionate PHANTOM fans desire. Of course, this could be said of some fans, but certainly not those who have demonstrated a longtime interest in the story, the novel, the original musical, who have read Forsyth's abysmal novella and who have carefully considered the merits and drawbacks of a sequel.

 

Fast forward four months later, and the press has changed its tune. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE STAGE, THE DAILY EXPRESS, THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, THE INDEPENDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, THE AUSTRALIAN, 20MINUTOS.ES, THE NEW YORK POST, EL MUNDO and REUTERS have now all acknowledged that those they term 'diehard Phans' are categorically against LOVE NEVER DIES. These, we would like to add, are newspapers that previously claimed said 'Phans' had an insatiable appetite for everything LOVE NEVER DIES-related. Here are just some of the articles recognizing the stance of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA devotees:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-news/7386503/The-Phantom-returns-poor-show-Andrew.html

 

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/645111/polemica/fastasma-opera/musical/

 

http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/shenton/2010/03/not-so-much-a-sequel-as-a-backlash/

 

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/161742/Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-I-still-take-risks-

 

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/article7050528.ece

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2010/feb/17/love-never-dies-andrew-lloyd-webber

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/theatre/the-man-in-the-mask-is-back/article1482654/

 

 

 

You will note that many of the above articles make explicit reference to 'Love Should Die' and/or its supporters. We have come a long way from the press mindlessly repeating the hype of the Really Useful Group that 'the Phans can't wait'.

 

What does this mean? Essentially, that we have successfully accomplished the mission we set ourselves. The global press, from the UK, Spain, Canada, Australia and the USA, have all now acknowledged that the sequel to PHANTOM is controversial and not one that passionate PHANTOM fans readily accept.

 

Our efforts, of course, have not been appreciated by everyone in the fan community. Do we apologize? No. We are saddened by any offense caused, but none of our actions have been deliberately malicious. We know that not everyone will want to burn a copy of THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN. That's why we suggested recycling it or passing it on. We know that some do not appreciate our growing presence on the Internet. Our advice: ignore our comments. We also know that some don't quite get our sense of humor. Too bad. But given that everything we have done has resulted in the press turning 180° in their coverage of the fans' reception of LOVE NEVER DIES (and has even led the Really Useful Group to completely disassociate itself with the opinion of 'Phans', with Lloyd Webber denouncing them as "insane" and "sad"), we regret nothing.

 

We'd like to thank everyone for their support, including, of course, the Phantom himself, whose contributions have been most useful and especially appreciated when he is busy composing his latest work. We look forward to more notes from him in the future.

 

We do not stand for hatred. We do not stand for sabotage. We merely wish our views to be given a public voice and to be acknowledged. And in that, we have succeeded.

 

If you are someone who is looking forward to LOVE NEVER DIES, then go ahead and see it. We cannot stop you, and we hope you enjoy the show, but the show is not one we support. You can disagree with us. But you can't suppress us. There's room for more than one opinion in this world.

 

The fans will not be silent.

 

LSD

Lloyd Webber calls Phantom devotees “SAD”

March 5, 2010

 

In response to THE TIMES' article concerning the overwhelmingly negative fan response to LOVE NEVER DIES, Andrew Lloyd Webber's unnecessary, ill-conceived and ludicrous sequel to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (5 March 2010, 'No Love Lost for Lloyd Webber Sequel', page 9), Lloyd Webber's PR team at the Really Useful Group have spoken to THE TIMES' Arts Correspondent Ben Hoyle in the 6 March 2010 edition of THE TIMES.

 

In the article (link provided at the end of this note), Lloyd Webber is quoted as saying: "There’s a whole sad culture around the world of people who seem to only live by the old Phantom of the Opera.”

 

Does Lord Lloyd-Webber realize that it is precisely this "sad culture" that he apparently regrets that has been lining his pockets for the past two decades, especially since he has not had a surefire global hit since THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA?

 

It is one thing to insult the integrity of his own show by mounting a sequel that directly contradicts Harold Prince's award-winning vision of it. It is quite another to insult the very audiences that have made his own show a sucess. At least the aforementioned director Prince has respect for the fans, having delivered a keynote address at a fan convention last year in Las Vegas, and describing dedicated fans of the show in THE NEW YORK TIMES to be "totally nice people". Would that Lloyd Webber shared this respect.

 

Lloyd Webber also hypocritically claims that people were wrong to dismiss LES MISÉRABLES when it began previewing, despite the fact that he himself was one of its detractors, calling Cameron Mackintosh a "catastrophic idiot" for pursuing the idea (according to the journalist Edward Behr).

 

If his Lordship does not wish for people to judge a show on its previews, then perhaps his company, The Really Useful Group, should not have had the arrogance or greed to charge exorbitant prices for previews. Former collaborator and present rival Cameron Mackintosh heavily discounted for the previews of AVENUE Q, with tickets at just £10. Consequently audiences realized what they were seeing was not the finished product. In the case of LOVE NEVER DIES, its official website characterized the first preview as the opening night by the inclusion of a countdown to 20 February and not 9 March, while charging nearly £70 a ticket hardly gave any impression that what was to be seen was not intended to be a polished show. Let us not forget that the reason that Andrew Lloyd Webber himself gave for delaying the opening of LOVE NEVER DIES (having originally intended a 2009 opening) was so that the show would be virtually entirely presentable to audiences.

 

We'd also like to remind his Lordship that his company invited the London theatre critics to see performances on 5 and 8 March. Both of those dates are for preview performances. Are the critics, then, going to pass judgement on a "work in progress"? And if so, why are the paying audience not entitled to express their opinion on the same performances?

 

Having dismissed PHANTOM OF THE OPERA fandom as "sad", Lloyd Webber then adds: "But I suspect in a year’s time most of those [fans], if they come to see [LOVE NEVER DIES], will understand and enjoy it."

 

What exactly does he expect fans to understand? If his Lordship thinks that fans will "understand" why on earth the Phantom appears extremely younger ten years later, or why 1881 to 1907 apparently equals ten years, or why on earth the Phantom would regress to being a stalker out to lure Christine having already released her in a redemptive sacrificial act of love, or why Christine would return to the Phantom to have sexual relations with him despite leaving him, or why Raoul would turn from heroic suitor into drunken wreck, or why the impish Meg Giry would turn from promising ballerina at the Paris Opera into murderous whore, or why Andrew Lloyd Webber would choose one of Frederick Forsyth's rare FLOPS to adapt into a musical, then we feel he is incredibly mistaken.

 

Finally, we would like to add that PHANTOM fans' objections to the show are extremely unlikely to be annulled by seeing LOVE NEVER DIES. It is the story of LOVE NEVER DIES to which devoted PHANTOM fans object in principle. No amount of refinement in previews will change the story; it has been set in stone, according to THE DAILY MAIL. Neither will seeing the show change the story. It is what it is: a ludicrous piece of offensive trash that is doomed to failure and destined to flop. Oh, and LOVE NEVER DIES is hardly, as Lloyd Webber claims, the first show to "test the water" of Internet fan reactions. Many musicals have been doing this for years now. Unlike Lloyd Webber and his Really Useful Group, they at least understand that the Web is a democratic medium to be embraced, not forbidden.

 

If you are a passionate fan of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and are similarly disgusted by Andrew Lloyd Webber's remarks, you can write to the Lord himself at:

 

Lord Lloyd-Webber

c/o The Really Useful Group Ltd

22 Tower Street

London WC2H 9TW

United Kingdom

 

You can also write to the Really Useful Group by email at online_team@reallyuseful.co.uk

 

We also urge all our fans to comment on the article itself with their views. The link is provided at the end of this note.

 

Alternatively, you can write to THE TIMES (with your real name, postal address and telephone contact number---these will not be published without your consent) at letters@thetimes.co.uk

 

Your views need not go unvoiced.

 

Read the source article in question at

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/article7052118.ece

Autism comments anger Phantom fans

February 21, 2010

 

Jack O'Brien & Ramin Karimloo's characterization of the Phantom as autistic angers some PHANTOM fans. A reader of the UK paper THE DAILY MAIL posted this comment to an article published in it that hyped up LOVE NEVER DIES:

 

"As the grandmother of a child with Asperger's syndrome--a milder form of autism--I am absolutely appalled at Jack O'Brien's comment attributing the Phantom's behavior to autism. What rubbish! Never in 20+ years since I first became familiar with the original musical and the book it was taken from have I even remotely thought the Phantom was autistic. Here's a bit of Psych 101 for Mr. O'Brien...behavior like the Phantom's usually comes from rejection by a child's mother. A mother who fails to bond with her child causes him/her to feel complete loss of self esteem and to have lifelong problems developing any other close relationships. The child internalizes the anger they feel and, given the ridicule and rejection the Phantom also got from the rest of the world, you have a person perfectly poised to act out violently. O'Brien is an ignorant ass and Webber is right there with him in disparaging his earlier masterpiece to try to make this sequel sound better than it is.

- Maggie, Kentucky, USA"

 

See the comment at its original source at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1250372/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Joanna-Lumley-make-absolutely-fabulous-turn-Broadway-alongside-David-Hyde-Pierce.html

 

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Love Never Dies Engages in Desperate Self-Promotion

May 29, 2010

 

We have been informed that Jack O'Brien, director of the panned show LOVE NEVER DIES, the unnecessary, tasteless and hugely vilified sequel to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, graced the Adelphi Theater in London yesterday in order to make yet more changes to a very troubled piece of theater, apparently oblivious to the fact that no amount of tweaking will save this unsalvageable wreck. These changes included a new scene and a specific reworking of the opening scenes, accused by many of being a downright bore.

 

On the same evening, following the performance, Ramin Karimloo gave an interview to Claudia Winkleman's show on BBC Radio in order to give the show some much-needed promotion after disappointing sales. Aside from quoting Frank Wildhorn's JEKYLL & HYDE in perceptively declaring that "the only thing constant is change", once again in order to counteract the huge criticisms of the show that the characters have been distorted and deformed ten years on (or was that 26 years on?), Mr Karimloo said that “the whole of LOVE NEVER DIES is extending the last 15 minutes [of the original]”.

 

Let us look, then, at those last 15 minutes of the original. The Phantom has once again abducted Christine, who by this point has realized that she was deceived by his tricks and that she "gave her mind blindly". In an act of compassion, she gives this "pitiful creature of darkness" a single kiss that transforms him from a psychopath threatening to kill her lover into someone so fulfilled and moved by this act of compassion - the only example that he has ever known in his life - that he frees Christine and her lover in a redemptive act of sacrificial love, before declaring that the music of the night is "over". This is completely in sync with the ending of Leroux's original. It is also a hugely gratifying moment in the theater, which Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the original PHANTOM, has called "thrillingly worked out", such that he has concluded that PHANTOM is Lord Lloyd-Webber's "most complete work".

 

LOVE NEVER DIES, in apparently attempting to draw out these final 15 minutes as Mr Karimloo claims (why this must be done we are not quite sure, but we surely need not remind the world of the PHANTOM's hugely lucrative power), does quite the opposite: it reverses it. The Phantom apparently has not learned anything from that single kiss; in fact, so selfish he has become, that he demands more, and once again resorts to his old tricks of deception in order to lure back Christine. Christine appears to have regressed as well, not only in her inability to identify her invitation to Co(r)ney Island as the sort of familiar trickery that she should now be able spot from a mile away, but also in her failure to distinguish between her feelings for the Phantom and Raoul.

 

Such selfishness and regression to immaturity risks harming their sympathetic traits. How does one overcome the problem that a selfish psychopath who learns nothing from the emotional ordeal of the original story is not generally a character that the audience would want to support? The answer, according to Messieurs Forsyth, Lloyd Webber and Elton, is quite conveniently to gloss over his past crimes and rewrite his past in a manner not unlike Lloyd Webber's methods of self-promotion, whereby his past successes are frequently rubbished in order to heighten anticipation for his latest offering. The Phantom is robbed of his genius, his age, his maturity, his danger, his mystery, his eloquence and his distorted soul (which is called "pure" in LOVE NEVER DIES -- quite a contradiction) and turned into a youthful sap with a fondness for purple prose and gaudy jewellery. Can you, dear Reader, buy this?

 

Claudia Winkleman, who presented the show, unsurprisingly raved about LOVE NEVER DIES without qualifying this opinion, and then declared that "Phantom fans love [Ramin Karimloo], they love the Phantom". What she omitted to say is that they do not love "Mr Y" or the ridiculous story, the key to which -- if it ever existed -- Ben Elton should have thrown away or destroyed instead of using it to unlock the absurd monstrosity that is now being staged nightly at the cost of millions at the Adelphi Theater. It is precisely this sort of untrue labelling to which we object.

 

The fans rejected Forsyth's PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN and they have likewise rejected LOVE NEVER DIES. You can contact Ms Winkleman to correct her perceptions of the fanbase by sending a tweet to @ClaudiaWinkle or by using the contact form of her radio show here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/claudia-winkleman/contact/

Love Should Die One Year Anniversary

October 11, 2010  

 

On Saturday October 16th, Love Should Die marks its One Year Anniversary. Please note, we deliberately do not say 'celebrate' because we're still saddened by the fact that we have to exist at all. However, we would like to recognize the great strides we've made and thank our supporters immensely.

 

Over the last 12 months, we have seen Love Never Dies cancel their Broadway opening twice, watched theatre critics and audience members publish crippling reviews, observed the relationships amongst the creative team fall apart while the production changed its ad campaign several times, and more recently watched the show struggle with ticket sales by constantly offering free tickets and discounted ticket offers. Not to mention, the LSD Campaign hit major newspapers around the world, allowing fans voices to be heard despite multiple attempts to have the campaign shut down. The Love Should Die team and campaign has been said to have created an £8,000,000 dent in profits for the production.

 

In honour of our anniversary, the LSD Team would like to give thanks to our supporters and offer you a chance to win your very own Love Should Die prize package which consists of 3 amazing items from our online store!. We'd love to see our supporters come together in the largest possible way to explain why "LOVE SHOULD DIE". From now until October 31, we would like everyone to use their creative and artistic talents to show why "LOVE SHOULD DIE". Be creative - submit a video, a letter, drawing, cartoon, t-shirt design, what ever you'd like in keeping with the theme - "why Love Should Die".

 

Participants can submit their entry for the contest by posting their content on the LSD Facebook Group page, or via email: contest@loveshoulddie.com. Submissions will be added to the FB group page for all to view and vote. The top 3 submissions will be selected by the LSD Team with the winner announced on Saturday November 6th, 2010. Note - all entries become fair use for the LSD Team and we may use or feature your submission on our website or in our campaign (in full or in part). While we very much appreciate and encourage all contributions, please ensure that no image posted contains a production image of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LOVE NEVER DIES or any other image that is copyrighted by the Really Useful Group. We unfortunately have to insist on this as RUG tried to shut our account down citing breach of Intellectual Property Rights as their justification.

 

 

We'd love to see all of our supporters participate in this first ever contest and we look forward to your creative entries! This is also the perfect time to show your support for the campaign as Webber has just confirmed the Australian production of Love Never Dies will open in May 2011; plenty of eyes will be on our website and Facebook group. Show the world why PHANTOM NEEDS NO SEQUEL!

 

 

Gratefully yours,

The LSD Team