Beauty and I received an unexpected treat a few days ago.
We were driving my parents into the city as they were going to see the sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, called Love Never Dies, when my dads mobile phone rang.
To make a long story short, the couple they were going with couldn't make it due to illness and they offered their tickets to Beauty and myself.
After a quick detour home to change clothes (we had tracksuits on) we arrived at the beautiful Regent Theater in Collins Street Melbourne.
To say that it was magical is an understatement.
I cried three times.
The Phantom and Christine ripped my heart out and I willingly let them do it...........
As I would again.
LOVE NEVER DIES-STORYLINE
Ten years after the disappearance of The Phantom from the Paris Opera House the world-renowned singer Christine Daaé arrives in New York with her husband and son after receiving a lucrative invitation to perform at Coney Island, the new playground of the rich and famous.
As Christine discovers the identity of the shadowy figure that has lured her across the ocean to sing, the shocking events of the past come crashing back into her life with devastating consequences.
Love Never Dies is truly a roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance – where little is as it first appears.
AUSTRALIAN CRITICS REVIEW
SIMON Phillips' extravagant production of Love Never Dies infuses new energy into Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera sequel.
With its vivid design, eccentric characters and mystical imagery, this is a ravishing spectacle that captures the dark mystery of a perilous fairground (circa 1907) and should convert even a die-hard Phantom fan.
The Phantom (Ben Lewis), 10 years after his abduction of Christine (Anna O'Byrne), is now a wealthy impresario running a Coney Island attraction. He lures Christine, her husband Raoul (Simon Gleeson) and son, Gustave (Kurtis Papadinis) to Manhattan.
Lewis is formidable as the Phantom. With his velvety tones, superb range and consummate acting, his performance rivals former Phantoms. His opening rendition of 'Til I Hear You Sing is thrilling and no song that follows meets this level.
O'Byrne's beautiful soprano is a perfect match for Lewis in their duets (Beneath A Moonless Sky, Once Upon Another Time) and her version of Love Never Dies is affecting. The Beauty Underneath is a surprising rock number sung by Lewis, Papadinis and the distinguished ensemble while Sharon Millerchip, as Meg Giry, is delightfully cheeky performing Bathing Beauty.
Gabriela Tylesova's heroic design supplies soaring gantries, a giant Phantom mask and occult imagery while the period costumes are high gelati in colour, evoking both freak shows and Edwardian elegance.
Phillips saturates the stage with sideshow freaks, acrobats and impish dancers (performing Graeme Murphy's choreography) and sometimes it's so busy, it's hard to know where to look.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Lewis-The Phantom