OMG that's totally how *I* feel!!!
I haven't seen it, admittedly, but I don't feel I WANT to.
It's like when people ask me to write sequels to certain stories, and I'm puzzled as to WHY they want more of a particular story when it's complete as is. You couldn't add anything to it without taking something away. Stories like Damage and Family for example. And sometimes the story has been told. That's what the story IS. Don't mess with it. Leave it be!
I feel like that about Love Never Dies. I didn't understand the premise for a start, and although I haven't seen it (and that IS a big caveat as I can't talk authoratatively about it as a result), it felt to me as if the premise sold out some of what happened in Phantom. There's a certain ambiguity in Phantom - does Christine love Raoul or the Phantom? But it's resolved fairly substantively when the Phantom turns out to be a bit of a homicidal maniac *g* and Raoul is your steadfast rescuing type.
From my understanding of LND, some of what happens in that rather sells out the Christine/Raoul love story but maybe I'm wrong on that.
Also, Phantom is LW's masterpiece. He's written some fantastic stuff, including JSS, Joseph and Evita, but Phantom has a...how can I say this without it being insulting...well, there's a certain autobiographical flavour to it *g*. Not that it's in any way LW's life story (!!!) but that the themes and emotions very much reflect a certain period of heightened emotion in LW's life. He also had a muse at the time in the shape of Sarah Brightman, who inspired him in a way he's never been inspired before or since. His music is always pretty good - that's why he's so successful - but it's lacked the intensity and personal connection that Phantom had. I can see why he wanted to go back and try and recapture it, but I've found that's usually a mistake with stories - and it probably is with musicals too!
I do know the show had problems when it first opened and LW has put those down to him being preoccupied with battled cancer at the time and therefore not as involved as he should have been. They did close it down and reopen it, and he felt it was better then and the problems ironed out, but it didn't seem to recover from people's original perceptions of it.
Have you seen it, Phoenix?