May 23, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Center Stage: Pantages Theatre’s “Love Never Dies”

By Beverly Cohn

Some loves don’t die easily – especially the compulsive love of the disfigured Phantom of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera.” This iconic musical has earned the distinction of being one of the most successful in history. Winner of more than 50 international awards, over 130 million people worldwide have experienced this eternal love story. With such a massive potential audience, why not bring back the Phantom and Christine to see how life has been for them a decade later. To bring us up to date with these star-crossed lovers, meet “Love Never Dies,” featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and book by Ben Elton, based on “The Phantom of Manhattan” by Frederick Forsyth and brilliantly directed by Simon Phillips. Additional lyrics by Charles Hart have been added, with orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The new touring company has arrived at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre with a cast of glorious singers, including the magnificent Gardar Thor Cortes as the love-sick Phantom, and the gifted soprano Meghan Picerno as Christine Daaé. An array of dazzling special effects will have you wide-eyed and smiling as you experience a spectacular roller coaster ride through the current life and times of the Phantom and Christine.

The story begins seven years after the turn of the last century. Ten years have passed since the Phantom vanished from the Paris Opera House. He winds up in New York’s Coney Island where he produces Phantasma, a musical featuring an assortment of eccentric people who perform a potpourri of dazzling gymnastics as well as a bevy of chorus girls under the stern guidance of ballet mistress Madame Giry (Karen Mason,) mother to her aspiring-star daughter, Meg (talented soprano Mary Michael Patterson). The splendid dance sequences were choreographed by Graeme Murphy AO, with the dancers adorned in period costumes designed by Gabriela Tylesova, who also designed the spectacular fairytale sets.

Despite having an outlet for his music, our Phantom is nevertheless frustrated as he still longs for Christine, his only true love and musical protégée and begins to plot how he can bring her back to him. In the meantime, she is now one of the world’s most famous sopranos and is married to Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny (Sean Thompson) and has a son named Gustave (a very talented Jake Heston Miller who alternates with Casey Lyons.) All is not well as Raoul drinks and gambles. To refill the financial hopper, Christine agrees to accept an invitation to sing in New York at a famous opera house so the family leaves Paris and sets sail for the new destination. There is an enchanting sequence of she and her family disembarking from a ship to be met by a coterie of photographers and then are whisked away in a “horseless carriage,” huge enough to accommodate the “Jolly Green Giant.”

Christine and her family are ensconced in a hotel room with a mirror looming in the background and as you might expect, the Phantom emerges through the mirror and with his Svengali hold over her, lures she and her family to the phantasmagoric world of Coney Island illuminated by Nick Schlieper spectacular lighting design comprised of thousands of sparkling, towering, cascading lights, with a gigantic ferris wheel ablaze with shimmering radiance. There is an assortment of clowns and “freaks,” three of which include a trio of Phantom’s henchmen playfully brought to life by Katrina Kemp as Fleck, a tiny person tossed around like a beach ball in the hands of Squelch (Richard Koons,) and Gangle (Stephen Petrovich).

Like in opera and the original Phantom, the narrative is told through music with 30 musical numbers including the dramatic opening song ‘Til I Hear You Sing,’ an introduction to Gardar Thor Cortes’ mesmerizing, soaring voice. While there are no songs that you will leave the theatre humming, nevertheless the score has an overall beauty with an occasional bar of music reminiscent of the original Andrew Lloyd Webber score, which somehow ties the two productions together. Dale Rieling’s excellent music direction of the orchestra was augmented by Mike Potter’s sound design resulting in pitch perfect musical numbers some of which include, ‘Once Upon Another Time’ (Christine and The Phantom;) the tender ‘Look With Your Heart,’ (Christine and Gustave;) the fun ‘Bathing Beauty Rehearsal’ (Meg with the male ensemble dressed in black and white bathing attire of the turn of the century;) ‘Dear Old Friend,’ (Meg, Christine, Madame Giry, and Raoul;) ‘Why Does She Love Me? (Raoul and Meg;) and ‘Conclusion,’ a heartbreaking duet between Christine and The Phantom, concluding with the revelation of a deep secret about Gustave.

Whatever one might think is missing from the storyline, with Simon Phillips’ masterful direction of his Broadway-caliber musical cast, coupled with eye-popping production values, “Love Never Dies” is an entertaining and most satisfying theatrical experience.

Meghan Picerno (Christine Daaé) and Gardar Thor Cortes (The Phantom) star in “Love Never Dies” on stage at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Joan Marcus

 

 

 

 

“Love Never Dies”

Hollywood Pantages Theatre

6233 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90028

Run: Tuesday – Friday: 8 p.m.

Saturday: 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Individual Tickets start at: $49

Closing: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tickets: In Person: Hollywood Pantages Box Office .

Online: HollywoodPantages.com

Ticketmaster.com: 1-800-982-278 Parental Advisory: Ages 12 and up. (Children under five will not be admitted to the theatre.)

Related Posts

UCLA Police Chief Reassigned After Assault on Palestine Solidarity Encampment

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Acting Chief Named as John Thomas Reassigned to Other Duties on Monday By Dolores Quintana In the aftermath of the...

(Video) The Long Awaited Opening of @Something About Her. The line was down the block for most of the day. Huge success

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

If you look closely you can see the owners in the video, who were so very gracious and genuine to...

Off-Duty West Bureau LAPD Officer Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Officer Taken Into Custody in Westchester, Internal Affairs is Investigating An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was arrested Tuesday for...

UC Workers’ Strike Intensifies Amid Unresolved Labor Disputes

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

University of California Refuses to Attempt to Resolve ULPs The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has urged the University...

LAPD, DEA, and Postal Service to Investigate Actor Matthew Perry’s Death

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Authorities to Probe How Perry Obtained Ketamine Found in His System. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has launched an...

Venice Canal Attack Victim’s Condition Takes a Tragic Turn

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

CD 11 City Councilmember Traci Park Releases Statement The devastating news that one of the two women who were brutally...

City Files Lawsuit Against Motel Owners For Allegedly Allowing Drug Activity

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

A Court Order Could Close the Motel for One Year and Require Changes to Management By Zach Armstrong A lawsuit has...

(Video) 2024 Take Action Campaign Happening Now

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

More Information at takeactionla.com @culvercitywlanews Take Action Campaign is happening now throughout LA County #mentalhealth #losangeles #fyp #california #wellbeing #health...

Father-Son Duo RSG Janitorial Services Finds Joy In Serving Customers

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Finding handymen and janitorial services can be a hard pick. RSG Janitorial Services, based in Los Angeles, offers a mix...

LA Pride 2024 Announces George Takei, Cassandro, and Kristin Crowley as Grand Marshals

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Celebrate “Power in Pride” with live broadcasts, a block party, and special events This year’s LA Pride Parade will celebrate...

Target Slashes Prices on 5,000 Everyday Items for Summer Savings

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Consumers to Enjoy Reduced Prices on Essentials Starting Now Target Corporation announced on Monday it will lower the everyday regular...

Check Out Local Library Events and Weekly Reading Programs For This Week

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Brentwood, Palisades, and West Los Angeles Libraries Are Ready for Summer As summer approaches, local libraries are gearing up for...

Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program Opens Second Round of Applications

May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Applications Accepted Until June 4, Funding and Support Have Been Increased  The Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program (LARRP) has...

Detectives Seek Public’s Help to Locate Attilio Brillembourg, Stepfather of Greek Princess

May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Stepfather of Princess Tatiana of Greece is Missing in Malibu Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are seeking...

Culver City Council to Review Parking Rates, Proclaims May Heritage Months

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

Gender-Neutral Restrooms Ordinance and City Proclamations Announced On Monday, the City Council of Culver City unanimously agreed to revisit new...