As much as I am a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber and intrigued by the Phantom of the Opera (both the novel and the musical) I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive about the upcoming musical sequel. Except for those theatrical/movie productions that planned a movie in a series from the very beginning (like Lord of the Rings or the Matrix) I have rarely seen a case where sequels turned out well. I also fear that the beautiful classical elements of Phantom will be ruined when the Phantom relocates to Coney Island. I’m interested, however, to see what kind of music will come out of this. After all, Lloyd Webber no longer has Sarah Brightman as a muse although he has been cranking out tunes for quite a while.
I would have preferred that a new Phantom musical be based on Susan Kay’s Phantom, quite a well-written novel that explores all of the aspects that Leroux’s book does not. Obviously, Kay’s book would not stand well without Leroux’s original, but it goes into the Phantom’s past, looking at what made him what he was. I wonder if Lloyd Webber read this book, it may have inspired him otherwise.