Entertainment

The Phantom lures Christine Daae to Coney Island

Gardar Thor Cortes (“The Phantom”) and Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”) star in “Love Never Dies.”
Gardar Thor Cortes (“The Phantom”) and Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”) star in “Love Never Dies.” Publicity photo

Its original production closed in four days, and in the seven years since that production, it has never made it to Broadway.

Its composer has variously said that it is not a sequel and said that “clearly it is a sequel” to “Phantom of the Opera.”

Its current U.S. tour has been called “lively and lavish” by one critic and “a turgid mess” by another.

It is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies,” and it’s coming to the Tampa Bay area for the first time.

It opens at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday and continues for eight shows through Dec. 17.

The story has the same characters of the mammoth hit original show, but it is not based on the writing of Gaston Leroux, who wrote the source material for Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera.” Instead, it is loosely based on a 1999 novel that’s a sort of sequel to Leroux’s novel.

It takes place some years after the original “Phantom.” Christine Daae gets an anonymous invitation to perform at Coney Island, so she travels across the ocean only to find — surprise! — that it’s her old pal the Phantom who has invited her.

It likely will appeal to “Phantom” fans, of which there are many. Others might be wise to be wary.

Details: Dec. 12-17, Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $45-$125 plus service charge. 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.

Marty Clear: 941-708-7919, @martinclear

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