Rumors have been flying about Phantom: Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to long-running sensation The Phantom of the Opera. Now, the composer has given the official word that The Little Mermaid’s Sierra Boggess and London Phantom veteran Ramin Karimloo will star in the hotly discussed sequel, which will hit both London’s West End and Broadway in 2010.
"I personally feel that what will now happen is that Sierra and Ramin will open in London early next year and then go to New York in the autumn of 2010,” Lloyd Webber told London’s Daily Mail. “I think once the album comes out, hopefully before Christmas, a lot of singers will come out of the woodwork and we'll find new Christines and Phantoms for the other productions."
Boggess made her Broadway debut as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, currently running at the Lunt-Funtanne Theatre. Regional credits include Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas, as well as productions of Les Miserables, West Side Story and the world premiere musical Princesses.
An Iran native, Karimloo has starred on the West End in Phantom’s title role, as well as in Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.
Lloyd Webber, director Jack O’Brien and designer Bob Crowley are mapping out a plan to bring the show to the Adelphi Theatre in London and at a to-be-announced theater on Broadway in the fall. A third production is expected in Shanghai just a few months later.
Love Never Dies features a book by Ben Elton and songs by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater, who also wrote songs for The Little Mermaid. In the show, The Phantom is now based in New York City’s Coney Island, where he lures old love Christine, now a famous singer married to a broken-down Raoul, with her teenage son Gustave in tow. (Guess who’s the father?)
The Phantom of the Opera continues to play at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre, where it recently celebrated its 21st anniversary.