Just say no.

Am I really jumping from talking about NASCAR to musicals? I sure am. Told ya I was random. Fair warning, this one is a bit rambly.
I love musicals. (If you have read the “about Jessica Lynn” page, you would know this.) I’m a typical child of the late 80’s/90’s. I grew up with Disney animated movies. I loved The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. My first taste of real musicals came from watching the Rosie O’Donnell Show every afternoon after school. My parents took me to Beauty and the Beast when the Broadway production came to Toledo. That was my first stage musical, other than the high school’s productions that never left much of an impact (except for Annie and Grease). But it wasn’t until 2005 when I really got  into musicals. It was after seeing the movie version of Rent that changed everything. Rent was a powerful experience. I sat in the theater for a good 10 mins after the movie was over trying to compose myself, and had to get the soundtrack immediately. Which I did. I then used it  as a launching pad for new musicals, using the actors’ other works to find more and then just kept going. I now really love musical theater.

My parents introduced Phantom of the Opera to me when I was young. They used the soundtrack’s opening number to scare me. I have no idea how this translated into me wanting to see this musical, but I did (and eventually got to see it a couple of years ago). As I’ve gotten into musical theater more, I realized something: why is Andrew Lloyd Webber a star? He’s managed to write a few good songs, but as far as story? Not so much. (Cats? Really? Why?)

Phantom of the Opera is undeniably one of his most popular works. It’s been playing in London for 24 years. And to keep the cash flowing (he says to continue the story for his fans), Webber wrote a sequel. It’s finally up and running. The cast recording was released on iTunes this week. And it’s pretty much one of the worst things I’ve ever listened to. I know I’m just basing this on 30 second clips and not seeing the show, but still. It’s bad. It’s what Scarlett is to Gone with the Wind. It completely bastardizes the original story and characters.

From what I got out of the 30 second clips: The Giry’s are bitter and angry at Christine now. Phantom is still trying to hook up with Christine 10 years later. Raoul is a bitter drunk. Christine and Raoul have a kid. Phantom is now running some carnival show on Coney Island under the name Mr. Y, and Meg is the star of that show. Some how Christine comes, and because she and Raoul are hard on money (probably because of his drinking. Because that’s how it always works) she goes to sing in the show. I would guess that in the end Phantom and Christine hook up. So that all of the ladies are finally happy. Not only does it ruin the end of the original musical, which I happen to enjoy, it completely destroys the source material. In the original Phantom of the Opera, he dies alone in Paris.

(Never mind: I just found the synopsis on Wikipedia. And it’s worse than I though. No. Just…..no. )

It might be wrong of me, but I hope this flops. It won’t though, because there are so many women who were madly in love with the original, and this will fall right in line with what they wanted.

As for me, this is one musical I’ll be passing on. If I’m spending the money it costs to see a Broadway musical these days, I’m going to see something that has quality.

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