“I think there are a lot of people who would love to see [Phantom of the Opera 2: Love Never Dies] go [to Broadway] but I think that we’re all realistic, and I think with the baggage that it’s got, it might be better to just let it be discovered."
-Andrew Lloyd Webber, when talking about Phantom's sequel being filmed and released on DVD
Ah well, this is a good time as any to finally call off what would have been the first Broadway Abridged Web Series, "Phantom of the Opera: Vocal Coach".
I remember laughing when finding out that post-Phantom, the titular character moves to New York City. This seemed about as plausible as the idea I had for a Fiddler On The Roof sequel where we all learn what their lives are like when they move to Hollywood, California. The difference of course is that I came up with "Fiddler 2", I was eight.
So in the 6 weeks leading up to the "Love Never Dies" Broadway opening, the plan was for a mockumentary web series that takes place between during the 10 years between the two Phantom musicals. In it, the Phantom of the Opera has relocated to New York City (pre-Christine), and is giving vocal lessons for free so long as his Christine-lookalike students are willing to pretend that he's invisible. He's dealing with complex issues like a crabby landlord, a cat that keeps deleting the music he's recorded into his piano, the difficulty of choosing between Christine and a new unsuspecting student, and the phonecalls and IMs he keeps receiving (from a secret woman who dresses in dark clothing) about moving to Coney Island.
We had some fun ideas planned. Episode 2 featured a holiday party Phantom throws that only one student shows up at, and it was because she got her voice lesson time wrong. Episode 5 actually took place entirely in Holland Tunnel Traffic (the series was set modern for no good reason). And then later, Season 2 was to be centered around Phantom trying to move to Coney Island, but unable to find someone to take over his lease.
We actually had a lot of Season 1's script written, but we never filmed. First Webber's original notion of simultaneously opening Phantom 2 in London and New York fizzled. Then Phantom's Broadway date got pushed off. I back-burner'ed it back then with the plans to return to it in the case that Phantom 2 were to show up on our Atlantic shores, but even Webber seems skeptical now.
I will miss the theme song, though:
He lived in Paris FranceBut left PareeAnd now takes residenceIn NYCIf you need vocal helpYou should approach.The Phaaaaaaaantom of the Opera to beYour vocal coach.He wears a half a maskAnd loves the darkHe drives a minivanBut can't parallel park.So if you want to sing.(Phantom) "Then come to me!"The Phaaaaaaaantom of the Opera will teachYou to sing, for free.