Greetings from the internet cafe in Leicester Square where I seem to wind up whenever I’m in London. Last night’s mini accommodation saga has been resolved: my friend actually was in London after all, and I ended up sleeping on her couch. (She lives, quite literally, down the street from Arsenal’s new ground, the Emirates Stadium, which is around the corner from Arsenal’s old ground, Highbury. There: you’re about as well-situated as I am.) And as one saga draws to an end, another continues: tonight, I’m seeing the musical Love Never Dies, which you might know as the Phantom of the Opera sequel.
I have no idea–none whatsoever–how I feel about this. Reviews have been mixed, which isn’t surprising, but I’ve yet to hear any sort of feedback from actual Phantom fans (or “phans,” if you’d prefer…and yes, I have to count myself as one since I’ve seen the original twenty-three times). I know the merest details about the new musical’s substance; I know nothing whatsoever of its score. The one sort-of-concrete thing I know is that it stars Ramin Karimloo, who was born in Richmond Hill (yes, that Richmond Hill), got his start in a Tragically Hip cover band, and says his ultimate dream is to drink beer and watch hockey with Gord Downie. Love Never Dies has actually been in the pipeline for over a decade, and at one point seemed destined to premiere in Toronto. My expectations are admittedly low; I will, of course, be delighted to be proven wrong, and I’ll let you know if I was in just over seven hours.