Lloyd Webber says "Phantom" sequel likely to hit Broadway

Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:59pm EST
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By Frank Scheck

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite some savage reviews when Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to "Phantom of the Opera" opened in London, the British composer believes that "Love Never Dies" will still one day likely make it to The Great White Way.

After a planned Broadway showing was scuttled after the London production closed prematurely, the fate of the musical has taken an upswing since a reworked version of the show opened last year in Melbourne, Australia, to acclaim.

Now, a filmed version of that production is debuting in the United States next week.

"I think it will inevitably come, at some point," Webber, 63, told Reuters in an interview on the show's Broadway prospects. "But in many ways I now feel like I've closed the chapter on it. The film that's being shown is something I'm very, very proud of. So in a way it doesn't really matter if it comes tomorrow or five years' time."

He added with an air of confidence, "But I'm sure it will."

The film of the Australian production will debut in nearly 600 cinemas in the United States on February 28. It follows other performances projected onto movie screens in the past several years, including several from The Metropolitan Opera in New York and The Royal National Theatre in London that have been popular with audiences.

Lloyd Webber, the composer of musical hits including "Evita", "Starlight Express", "Cats" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", first envisioned "Love Never Dies" more than two decades ago, only to have it undergo numerous stops and starts during its troubled development.

The award-winning composer had surgery for prostate cancer in 2009 and it wasn't until 2010 that it finally opened in London's West End, only to receive withering notices and close within a year-and-a-half.   Continued...

English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber attends a news conference ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Moscow May 15, 2009.  REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin