Haven’t been to Melbourne for about 5 Years and suddenly felt the urge to make up for all the fun I never had, so I went to Melbourne twice in the past 3 months. Apart from watching Love Never Dies the sequel to the amazing Phantom of the Opera, all I did for the entire weekend was eat and shop.
One of the places I ate at and lurved was Gills Dinner, located on Little Collin Street. It’s a medium size restaurant with really friendly staff and yummy food. Although it’s not your cheapest meal (we ate about $260 between 4), I think it’s reasonable priced for a restaurant with great atmosphere, good music and nice simple decor.
And if you get tired from shopping, drop by Hopetoun Tea Rooms on Collins Street. You will not miss it if you walk past because the cakes and sweets in the display window are just too good to miss.
More importantly, I watched Love Never Dies and let me tell you this first: NOTHING will surpass The Phantom of the Opera. If you haven’t seen Phantom, you really should. Tickets are not cheap, but is SOOOO worth it. So knowing that, it can be forgiven if Love does not live up to expectation.
First disappointment was with the songs; Love just does not have the same catchy songs. Andrew Lloyd Webber teases you with elements of those melodies you know so well, yet the songs never develop. However I have to say the song Love Never Dies is really beautiful.
Story line is clear, but very different to how I understand Phantom. Without spoiling anything, I have to say I thought I misinterpreted the original story. So it’s a little bit of a shock. On top of that, I’m not entirely convinced about the motives for some of the characters. It’s hard to explain without spoiling anything, so just let me say this: take this as a whole new story, an alternate ending to the Phantom you know.
The stage design is again unbelievable. From what I read in various reviews, it has been reworked by Webber following bad reviews. If has been revised, it still does not have the same spectacular and grandeur experience from Phantom. The level of excitement you get when that Chandelier lifts up into the air at the beginning of Phantom is no where to be found in Love.
The thing is, it’s really hard to judge this one on its own. After all, it’s a sequel. But if I had to, I would say this is still a very enjoyable musical. All the necessary elements for a successful musical are there: great songs, great costumes, great stage designs and most importantly, great singers. You will enjoy it if you haven’t seen Phantom. However, if you don’t live in Melbourne and you have seen Phantom, then I suggest you wait until it comes around to your town.
I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.