Webber hopes to salvage 'Love Never Dies'

Sept. 1, 2010 at 2:57 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Lousy reviews, infighting and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's health combined to put a kibosh on the U.S. opening of "Love Never Dies," theater observers say.

"Love Never Dies," the sequel to the wildly popular "The Phantom of the Opera," opened to poor reviews in London's theater district, leading to an announcement the show's Broadway run is postponed "indefinitely," the New York Post reported Wednesday.

London theater insiders told the Post "indefinitely" really means "Love Never Dies" in its current form won't see the footlights on Broadway.

Webber indicated he will try to salvage "Love Never Dies" by creating two new productions, one in Australia and the other in Toronto, each with its own creative team, sources told the Post. Webber will choose the stronger of the productions and bring it to New York sometime.

Broadway veterans Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell, directors of the $15 million London production, are feuding with Webber, still feeling the side effects of prostate cancer therapy last year, and insiders say all that remains are terms of the severance package.

"Watch this one closely -- it could get really nasty," one source told the Post, adding Webber blames O'Brien and Mitchell for the show's troubles in London.

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