Mary Poppins Returns
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The desire to hoodwink an audience by trading exclusively on nostalgia is certainly a temptation that will never die.
Filmed at the Melbourne Regent Theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies defiled all that was good about The Phantom of the Opera in a visually spectacular and mesmerizing stage musical. Set 10 years after the Paris Opera house tragedy, the Phantom has set up an amusement park on New York's Coney Island and attempts to lure Christine Daaé there to perform when she comes to America with her husband and child. The story is garbage and grotesquely distorts the original characters from Phantom (particularly Raoul and Meg). Yet the stage designs and costumes are a visual marvel. And the choreography is extraordinary, and has a lot of energy and emotion to it. Additionally, director Brett Sullivan does an excellent job at capturing the grandeur of the production while also focusing in on the performances. Plus, Webber's music is just incredible, with a tragic beauty to it that's remarkably compelling. As a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies is appalling, but from a production standpoint it's a fantastical sight to behold.
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