‘Love Never Dies’ Brings Melodrama And Operatic Talents To The Dr. Phillips Center
BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
ORLANDO - It is undeniable that the cast and crew of “Love Never Dies” did an incredible job bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel of his classic work “The Phantom of the Opera” to life.
The narrative picks up 10 years after the Phantom, portrayed by Bronson Norris Murphy, left Paris. Now a famous theater head at the famed Coney Island in New York, he is accompanied by Madame Giry (Karen Mason), her daughter Meg (Mary Michael Patterson), and various circus freaks.
Despite his success in the states, he still yearns for his first true love and musical protégée Christine Daaé, played by Meghan Picerno. In the opening number “‘Til I hear You Sing” the Phantom’s continued obsession with Daae is revealed. Murphey blew the audience away with his fantastic vocal performance which incorporated the dramatic and bruiting musical flairs that we have come to love from the original.
In a highly coincidental turn of events Christine comes to New York to sing at the opening of a new theater. She is accompanied by her husband Raoul (Sean Thompson) and their son Gustave (Jake Heston Miller on opening night).
When the Phantom discovers that Christine is in New York he reminds her of their old flame in the duet “Beneath a Moonless Sky” but after she still refuses to sing for him he uses her son to force her to perform his new song.
Raoul’s concern grows as he reflects on his actions throughout the years of his marriage. Knowing that Christine will surly return to the Phantom if she sings his song, the Phantom confronts Raoul. This leads to one my favorite songs of the night “Devil Take the Hindmost” in which the stakes of the love triangle continue to mount.
In addition to the actors, those behind the scenes shined as well. Gabriela Tykesova’s magnificently immersive set designs and the orchestra’s outstanding melodic talents brought the show to the next level. Whether on Christine’s balcony while the Phantom serenaded her or in the middle of the busy Coney Island, you felt as though you were there.
Graeme Murphey Ao’s choreography was amazing as well, especially during the performance of “The Beauty Underneath” when the Phantom takes Gustave to see the horrors that lie beneath Coney Island and his infamous mask.
Without spoiling any major plot points, I highly recommend seeing the show. The performance delivers a tale of mystery, love, and betrayal. Plot twists turn old friends into enemies and secrets once thought to be in the past can no longer stay hidden.
For information regarding upcoming shows and more visit www.drphillipscenter.org