The Phantom was an outsider, living in the bowels of the Paris Opera House. In the sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” Christine Daaé, Raoul, and their young son, Gustave, are the ones who don’t fit in.
“Love Never Dies” is set in Coney Island in 1907, a decade after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Opera House.
There, the Phantom lives amongst circus freaks and carnival barkers. It’s a place where his music can soar. But something’s missing — Christine, the opera singer with whom the Phantom remains obsessed.
“Coney Island is the perfect setting,” said Meghan Picerno, who plays Christine in the national touring show. The show will be in Greenville at the Peace Center for eight shows beginning Tuesday, June 12. “In 1907, anyone could go there. Anyone could blend in. The Phantom could be hidden in sight. He wouldn’t have to stay in the shadows.”
Christine is a world-famous opera diva struggling in an ailing marriage to Raoul, a drinker and a gambler. They travel from Paris to Manhattan when Christine gets a chance to open a new opera house. In a final bid to win Christine’s love, the Phantom, posing as an unidentified concert impresario, books Christine to make an appearance at Coney Island.
“You can expect a roller-coaster effect in the show,” Picerno said. “There are definitely twists and turns.”
While “Love Never Dies” is a sequel, audience members don’t need to be familiar with “Phantom,” which is the longest-running musical on Broadway in its 30th year, to enjoy it, Picerno said.
“If you’re a ‘Phantom’ fan, of course, you’ll be able to find out what happened to your favorite character. If not, you’ll see a beautiful piece that stands on its own,” she said. “Phantom” super fans will be able to hear bits and pieces of their favorite show in “Love Never Dies,” Picerno said.
Picerno said playing iconic roles is always a dream for a performer, and Christine is one of those roles, especially since she came to “Love Never Dies” from the opera world.
“I get to sing some of the most beautiful music every single night,” she said. “I love the music. Andrew Lloyd Webber has been quoted as saying the music is some of the best he’s ever written. The music is absolutely gorgeous.”
“Love Never Dies”
When: June 12-17, times vary
Where: The Peace Center, 300 S. Main St.
Info: 864-467-3000, peacecenter.org