Sunday, January 7, 2018

Day 260 -Pittsburgh Broadway Series -Love Never Dies-Look With Your Heart

The story and music from the musical, The Phantom of the Opera, brought me to tears about 20 years ago The new musical, Love Never Dies, is a sequel to that show and continues the story of the Paris Opera Phantom who now  in  1907 orchestrates the music behind a burlesque/freak show, Phantasma, on Coney Island in New York City.  He continues to long for his  love and to hear his protegee opera soprano, Christine Daae', sing again.  I was excited to experience my first sequel to a beloved musical and hear Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new composition telling the unique story of love between two people bonded by the beauty of music and not physical  aesthetics.

Wonders of Phantasma 

The overtone of the play was dark. This show was a cross between a beautifully sung operatic tragedy and the fourth season of the television series American Horror Stories: Freak Show.  From the beginning the play’s visual set had a gray cast that gave you the feeling of a time long ago. Then it popped with the bright lights of the roller-coasters  on Coney Island with a trio of freak show performers introducing the  wonders of Phantasma in the song “The Coney Island Waltz”. This was a little creepy but an intriguing start to a love story.  

Christine, Raoul her husband and Gustave her son
    The Phantom (Carder Thor Cortes) using an alias, lured Christine (Meghan Picerno) from Europe to NYC with an invitation to sing. Needing the money to pay off her husband’s (Sean Thompson) drinking and gambling debts she arrived with her  husband and son (Casey Lyons), who we later discover is the love child from  her one night of passion with the Phantom 10 years ago.  There is that familiar love triangle between Christine, her husband, and the Phantom who draws in Christine with his music.  The show also had a jealous want to be  Phantasma star, Meg (Mary Michael Patterson), who is  pushed aside as the Phantom now is focused on Christine and composes the aria,“Love Never Dies” for her.

Christine sings "Love Never Dies"
Love Never Dies is really an opera with some wonderful vocal moments even though no one song  resonated with me.  Megan Picerno as Christine is a powerful soprano and her duet “Once Upon Another Time” with Gardar Thor Cortes as the Phantom was beautifully sung.  When Casey Lyons as the son, Gustave, opened his mouth he produced a pure high crisp sound like an angel in “ Look With Your Heart”.  The operatic aria "Love Never Dies” was both visually and acoustically beautiful.

Love Never Dies was an unusual love story which at times seemed a little creepy. I think a small dose of the  macabre was appropriate when the story is asking us to love with what we know and not what we see or look past the external ugly to the  beauty within.   

(Tickets available for Love Never Dies  and the PNC Broadway Series at

Spiritual Source
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

Other Sources