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Andrew Lloyd Webber dismisses PHANTOM devotees as "sad& 
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Fresh Face
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Post Andrew Lloyd Webber dismisses PHANTOM devotees as "sad&
In response to THE TIMES' article concerning the overwhelmingly negative fan response to LOVE NEVER DIES, Andrew Lloyd Webber's unnecessary, ill-conceived and ludicrous sequel to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (5 March 2010, 'No Love Lost for Lloyd Webber Sequel', page 9), Lloyd Webber's PR team at the Really Useful Group have spoken to THE TIMES' Arts Correspondent Ben Hoyle in the 6 March 2010 edition of THE TIMES.

In the article (link provided at the end of this note), Lloyd Webber is quoted as saying: "There’s a whole sad culture around the world of people who seem to only live by the old Phantom of the Opera.”

Does Lord Lloyd-Webber realize that it is precisely this "sad culture" that he apparently regrets that has been lining his pockets for the past two decades, especially since he has not had a surefire global hit since THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA?

It is one thing to insult the integrity of his own show by mounting a sequel that directly contradicts Harold Prince's award-winning vision of it. It is quite another to insult the very audiences that have made his own show a sucess.

Lloyd Webber also hypocritically claims that people were wrong to dismiss LES MISÉRABLES when it began previewing, despite the fact that he himself was one of its detractors, calling Cameron Mackintosh a "catastrophic idiot" for pursuing the idea (according to the journalist Edward Behr).

If his Lordship does not wish for people to judge a show on its previews, then perhaps his company, The Really Useful Group, should not have had the arrogance or greed to charge exorbitant prices for previews. Former collaborator and present rival Cameron Mackintosh heavily discounted for the previews of AVENUE Q, with tickets at just £10. Consequently audiences realized what they were seeing was not the finished product. In the case of LOVE NEVER DIES, its official website characterized the first preview as the opening night by the inclusion of a countdown to 20 February and not 9 March, while charging nearly £70 a ticket hardly gave any impression that what was to be seen was not intended to be a polished show. Let us not forget that the reason that Andrew Lloyd Webber himself gave for delaying the opening of LOVE NEVER DIES (having originally intended a 2009 opening) was so that the show would be virtually entirely presentable to audiences.

Having dismissed PHANTOM OF THE OPERA fandom as "sad", Lloyd Webber then adds: "But I suspect in a year’s time most of those [fans], if they come to see [LOVE NEVER DIES], will understand and enjoy it."

What exactly does he expect fans to understand? If his Lordship thinks that fans will "understand" why on earth Phantom appears extremely younger ten years later, or why 1881 to 1907 apparently equals ten years, or why on earth the Phantom would regress to being a stalker out to lure Christine having already released her in a redemptive sacrificial act of love, or why Christine would return to the Phantom to have sexual relations with him despite leaving him, or why Raoul would turn from heroic suitor into drunken wreck, or why the impish Meg Giry would turn from promising ballerina at the Paris Opera to murderous whore, or why Andrew Lloyd Webber would choose one of Frederick Forsyth's rare FLOPS to adapt into a musical, then we feel he is incredibly mistaken.

Finally, we would like to add that PHANTOM fans' objections to the show are extremely unlikely to be annulled by seeing LOVE NEVER DIES. It is the story of LOVE NEVER DIES to which devoted PHANTOM fans object in principle. No amount of refinement in previews will change the story; it has been set in stone, according to THE DAILY MAIL. Seeing the show will neither change the story. It is what it is: a ludicrous piece of offensive trash that is doomed to failure and destined to flop.

If you are a passionate fan of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and are similarly disgusted by Andrew Lloyd Webber's remarks, you can write to the Lord himself at:

Lord Lloyd-Webber
c/o The Really Useful Group Ltd
22 Tower Street
London WC2H 9TW
United Kingdom

You can also write to the Really Useful Group by email at online_team@reallyuseful.co.uk

We also urge all our fans to comment on the article itself with their views. The link is provided at the end of this note.

Alternatively, you can write to THE TIMES (with your real name, postal address and telephone contact number---these will not be published without your consent) at letters@thetimes.co.uk

Your views need not go unvoiced.

Read the source article in question at http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 052118.ece

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:08 pm
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Talk about biting the hand(s) that feeds you...

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:04 am
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Yay Webber!


Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:06 am
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I don't care about the Phantom story, so I was mostly unmoved by all that.

However, his a-holism toward fans is pretty sad.

I guess it is now a trend to take a global hit, label it "old," and bring out something new and shiny but inferior in quality in its place.

And I never paid much attention to his comments regarding Les Mis--he wanted the Palace for Phantom and would've said anything to get his way. Didn't he give Mackintosh a bus, or something, for deciding to move the show to the Queen's?

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 am
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I don't usually get involved in things like this but... I can't help thinking that making a new screen name, avatar, location, facebook, twitter etc. -just- to insult the show IS a bit sad, actually. :|

So you don't like it. Fine. Don't go to see it. Don't listen to it. But regardless of what you think personally there happen to be quite a lot of people that -do- like it and -will- listen to it. Much of what is shown in certain "news"papers is either exagerated or made up anyway. He might not have even said it. And sometimes even the more reputable ones will pick up a story without checking up on it first. Through laziness I suppose. That or they're just too trusting which I really can't see a journalist being... Either way. It's posts like this that... kind of prove their point, if it was really theirs.

I'll just go sit in the corner with Mungo and wave my ALW flag. :mrgreen:

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:34 am
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Quote:
I don't usually get involved in things like this but... I can't help thinking that making a new screen name, avatar, location, facebook, twitter etc. -just- to insult the show IS a bit sad, actually.


Well, I just keep thinking that hate sites generally just serve to add more fuel to the publicity machine, and sometimes end up actually encouraging people to go and see a show/movie just to see what all the fuss was about...

A bit like with the venomous hate-campaign against Daniel Craig prior to the release of "Casino Royale" - all the hate sites really achieved were to give the movie some more free publicity and the tabloids some cheap fodder... and "Casino Royale" ended up becoming one of the biggest hits in the history of the James Bond franchise.

And I probably wouldn't even be aware of the existence of "The Last Temptation Of Christ" were it not for the people who protested against the film and called for it to be banned. I ended up going to see it just so that I could make up my own mind.

I am not optimistic about "Love Never Dies". I've read "Phantom Of Manhattan" and thought that, despite some good ideas, it was a pretty dumb book... and the two songs I've heard from the musical on YouTube ("Til I Hear You Sing" and "Love Never Dies") seem like amiable easy-listening music, but nothing spectacularly mind-blowing.

Still, I want to listen to "Love Never Dies" and make up my own mind, rather than just jumping on the hate bandwagon before it has been officially released.

Quote:
I don't care about the Phantom story, so I was mostly unmoved by all that.

However, his a-holism toward fans is pretty sad.


What surprises me is that so many "Phans" are actually surprised and indignant at Andrew Lloyd Webber behaving like a douchebag. I thought everyone would be used to that by now.

It's not the first time he has made disparaging remarks in the press about his own shows and fans of those shows.
(remember how he dissed "Starlight Express", "Aspects Of Love", "Whistle Down The Wind" and fans of these shows in interviews to promote his failed attempt at a socially relevant musical, "The Beautiful Game"??? Or how he has blamed the bad taste of theatregoers for the failure of "Aspects Of Love"? Or, more recently, the way he keeps dissing "The Woman In White".... I remember one interview where he claimed that the reason "Woman In White" didn't work was because it didn't have a strong story, unlike "Love Never Dies")

Lloyd-Webber has been letting down fans for a long time now.

Generally speaking, ALW comes across as a deer in the headlights in interviews - and can always be relied upon to say something laughably stupid.

I've often wondered why ALW does so many interviews, instead of leaving it to his lyricists - who generally have more wit, gregariousness and basic conversational skills than himself.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:41 pm
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*shrugs*

He's a composer, not a professional public speaker. And he's as entitled to his veiws as anyone else is. What annoys me is that even after all the work he put in to trying to make something for people to enjoy people seem to attack -him- and his work and then complain if something he says might to some people (who have not put in said hours of work) sounds less than friendly. It works both ways. And how friendly or good at speaking he is has nothing whatsoever to do with the work anyway. :P

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:00 pm
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Post 
Peritombry wrote:
*shrugs*

He's a composer, not a professional public speaker. And he's as entitled to his veiws as anyone else is. What annoys me is that even after all the work he put in to trying to make something for people to enjoy people seem to attack -him- and his work and then complain if something he says might to some people (who have not put in said hours of work) sounds less than friendly. It works both ways. And how friendly or good at speaking he is has nothing whatsoever to do with the work anyway. :P


If he speaks to the press, his views will be discussed. It comes with the territory, and if he says something unwise, he will have to deal with others' opinions about what he said. How hard he has worked on a show has nothing to do with the matter.

By the way, that old argument "If you haven't sung or acted or written musicals or played the saxophone etc. you can't comment on a performance or an interview or whatever"---that never did hold water. If it did, only accomplished singers could criticize singers; only actors could comment on an actor's performance; only saxophone players would dare to say anything about a saxophone player's playing, and only others composers could comment on or criticize Lloyd Webber's shows.

It doesn't work that way in real life.


Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:08 am
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IMHO, I think that's a very fair leading post.
'Phantom' - the story of an ugly misfit with great talent who seeks love and is spurned by a beautiful, gifted young woman - has remarkable similarities to ALW's own life, especially his failed marriage to Sarah Brightman.

Now 'Love Never Dies' is a rehash of the same relationship, from a slightly different angle.

The trouble is, even on this scale and with all the pretty costumes and melodies and so on, it's a Mary-Sue for ALW.

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:22 am
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I think the first post in this thread is a wonderful piece of journalism. Biased and misleading, without outright lying.

And as Webber said:
“What’s happening is that this small number of people have now got this marketplace where they can be the Benedict Nightingale [The Times’s veteran chief theatre critic] of the day.”


Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:31 am
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I think only: see/hear the show or not! Everyone have to decide.
It´s something new!

Yes, I was a long time against a sequel, but now I am only curious and happy that the Phantom story will continued.
And I hope honestly the show have success.

The last thing which disappointed me so much was the movie.


Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:49 am
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He's not the only one who's ever had a marriage fail. And weren't they still married when Phantom 1 came out? Eh.

Quote:
By the way, that old argument "If you haven't sung or acted or written musicals or played the saxophone etc. you can't comment on a performance or an interview or whatever"---that never did hold water. If it did, only accomplished singers could criticize singers; only actors could comment on an actor's performance; only saxophone players would dare to say anything about a saxophone player's playing, and only others composers could comment on or criticize Lloyd Webber's shows.

It doesn't work that way in real life.


I wasn't saying that it did. I was referring to the fact that he's put in months or years of -work- whereas the fans haven't. I wasn't referring to the fact that they hadn't composed anything specifically. I was referring to the amount of effort put into it.

I've never been against the sequel myself, though I was just a little nervous. But that didn't last for very long and after hearing it I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it actually.

And again... I agree with Mungo. :P

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