The continuation of Broadway's longest-running musical The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, which opened May 21 at Melbourne's Regent Theatre, is now booking through September 25.
The Australian production is not a carbon copy of the London production, and instead has new design and a new director. Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) directs, with Gabriela Tylesova behind the design. Guy Simpson, who worked with the Australian production of Phantom, serves as music supervisor, and Graeme Murphy choreographs.
Ben Lewis, who appeared in the original Australian casts of PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and SPAMALOT stars as the Phantom, opposite Anna O'Byrne as Christine Daaé. O'Byrne previously played the role in an Australian tour of PHANTOM.
Maria Mercedes, who originated the role of young ballerina Meg Giry in the Australian premiere of PHANTOM, will return to the role for the sequel, with Simon Gleeson as Raoul and Maria Mercedes as Madame Giry.
Young performers George Cartwright Bush, Trent Heath, Lachlan Kelly, Jack Lyall and Kurtis Papadinis alternate in the role of 10-year-old boy soprano Gustav, with Emma J. Hawkins as Fleck, Paul Tabone as Squelch and Dean Vince as Gangle.
Also included in the are ensemble are Andrew Broadbent, Renee Burleigh, Colin Dean, Andrew Dunne, Giordano Gangl, Stephanie Grigg, Erin Hasan, Matt Holly, Ben Hudson, Erin James, Adele Johnston, Claire Lyon, Kristy Mackenzie, Matthew McFarlane, Jessica Mechielsen, MerEdith O'Reilly, Adam Rennie, Lisa Reynolds, Pharic Scott, Kathryn Sgroi, Ellen Simpson, Tod Strike and Brendan Yeates.
"I'm delighted that Andrew Lloyd Webber has chosen an Australian team to work on his inspired new structural changes, which promise to further intensify the thrills and spills of the story as told in London. I've already begun developing a design with Gabriela Tylesova, hoping to do with the razzamatazz of Coney Island what Maria Bjornson's iconic Phantom designs did with the opulence of the Paris Opera!" Simon Phillips said in a statement.
The London production, running in the Adelphi Theatre, features direction by Jack O'Brien, choreography by Jerry Mitchell, and design by Bob Crowley. It opened to lukewarm reviews in March 2010.
The principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera continue their stories in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. 10 years after the mysterious disappearance of The Phantom from the Paris Opera House, Christine Daaé accepts an offer to come to America and perform at New York's fabulous new playground of the world - Coney Island. Christine arrives in New York with her husband Raoul and their son Gustave. She soon discovers the identity of the anonymous impresario who has lured her from France to sing.
Visit http://www.loveneverdies.com/ for tickets and more information.