Set ten years after the dramatic conclusion of “The Phantom of the Opera,” Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Love Never Dies” finds the titular Phantom once again trying to lure his beloved Christine into his clutches–this time, from twentieth century Coney Island. The ensuing tale is just as edge-of-the-seat exciting as its predecessor, melding the glamorous and the grotesque with tenderness…and, of course, a killer soundtrack.
The show first premiered in London’s West End in 2010, undergoing major changes in Melbourne, Australia in 2011 before showing in Copenhagen (2012), Tokyo (2014), and Hamburg (2015). And now, the show is hitting the road for its North American Tour. First stop? Baltimore.
“For a successful tour, you really have to think about all the parameters,” says Edward Price, the touring production’s design supervisor. “The time from load-in to last performance from one city to the next, the amount of trucks you need and their physical size limitations, every piece of scenery and the ability to take it apart…you have to think like a machine.”
That’s not to say, however, that the touring production lacks any of the magic of a prolonged theater engagement. In Price’s vision for the show, Coney Island is a grotesque and mysterious place, with a set reminiscent of a rickety old roller coaster, bedecked with carnival light bulbs and a spinning central turntable.
“The flavor of the evening is magic, mystery, theatricality,” he says. “It’s just an exciting story. The music is wonderful. Even if you came into the theater and just closed your eyes and didn’t see any of the beautiful work, you could still enjoy the story.”
The Charm City shows are the first, technically a pre-tour soft opening, but Price and his team aren’t nervous.
“We’re giving ourslelves a little extra time,” he says, “but we’re just excited to share everything we’ve been planning with Baltimore.”