Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 27, 2011 - Closing of Love Never Dies London

Yes, it's a date - August 27, 2011.

What's the significance? Well, if you're a fan of Love Never Dies in London, it's a sad day indeed, because it will have its last performance at the Adelphi Theatre on The Strand. It means that a group of wonderful, talented, and fantastic men and women are going to be out of a job; and that, in itself, saddens me to the core.

What do I think of those performers who put their heart into this production from the beginning? Well, let me tell you, because I too have a voice.

First off, I think they are servants at heart, especially Ramin Karimloo. I have great respect for this man, because he understands what it means to serve and do your best in spite of obstacles and opposition. He served his master well. Hats off to you, Ramin! I respect you greatly -- your talent, fortitude, and heart from God. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

To Sierra Boggess, Joseph Millson, Summer Strallin, Liz Robertson, Niamh Perry, Adam Pearce, Jami Reid-Quarrell, and the many talented young boys who played Gustave -- my hat off to you as well! You should be commended for your wonderful performances, your tenacity to ignore the naysayers, and your unending every night, wholehearted performances given to the audience. You guys rocked!

To Tam Mutu! Bravo! Wonderful interpretation of Phantom as well. Thanks, Tam, for your fantastic spirit and love of the character. It was a pleasure to see you perform more often in that iconic role. We wish you the very best as you move on in your career.

To the new cast Celia Graham, David Thaxton, Haley Flaherty, Tracey Penn, Charles Brunton, and the new group of young men who came in after the changes to the show as Gustav -- bravo to you as well. You supported the creator of the production, as he tirelessly endeavored to refine his work. You gave it your all and stood by him in the process. You picked up where others left off, and continued to give the audiences great performances.

We appreciate every one of you and wish you the best for the future. You have blessed the hearts of those who received you with open arms, gave us a touching stage production and the opportunity to once again to see Phantom and Christine interact with each other on stage in a story we didn't find offensive.

Though mud has been slung your way, websites have gone up to discredit the show, pages created to complain, protestors have left anti-show fliers at the theatre, nailed them on telephone poles, flipped you the bird, and participated in a war of words on every social medium imaginable on the Internet, you held your heads up high through it all and did your very best in spite of opposition to the story and the characters you represented. We admire you for the professional way in which you handled the onslaught, and we appreciate your loyalty to Andrew Lloyd Webber's vision to continue the story he put on stage 25 years ago.

When you take your last bow in Love Never Dies on the evening of August 27th at the Adelphi Theatre, be assured there are people who love and respect you deeply as the individuals and wonderful performers you are. God bless every one of you in your careers. May you go on and become successful in all that you set your hand to, and may you take with you cherished memories of your time in the production.

As you do, remember that those feelings you elicited in the audience, who watched your wonderful performances, will never die. They will live on in our hearts as fond memories, because we were privileged to be blessed by your outstanding talent and fantastic voices.

From my heart, and I'm sure from many others,

The Phantom's Student aka Vicki Hopkins

Note: Picture of final bow on closing night reposted with permission.