It’s World AIDS Day today. It’s 25 days to Christmas! And it’s also the first day of Advent.

Turns out, these events coincide with my birthday. Yay! πŸ™‚

Yesterday we had planned to visit Manila Ocean Park but things got out of hand and we ended up going to Mall of Asia instead. I must admit that I was a bit saddened because I was really looking forward to the visit but I guess some blessings are disguised in disappointment because the moment I stepped inside the mall, my feet brought me to Odyssey (a CD/DVD shop) and off I went and bought the boxed set of The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies (a bit expensive but what the hell, it’s my birthday). I never intended to own the original copies of the two musicals–I was content with just clips–but I guess my inner phangirl needed these things in my closet just because well, I’m a phangirl. πŸ™‚

New Starbucks Christmas cups

To celebrate my birthday (an advanced one since these happened yesterday), we ate steak at Racks and I bought a turtleneck top from Uniqlo. I also managed to get myself two cups with different designs from Starbucks to add to my collection.

Moving on to the day of my birthday, I decided that since we have no particular plans, I might as well give time to finally watch Love Never Dies. I have already seen various clips before but I have never seen the full show. Although, I’ve been listening to ‘Til I Hear You Sing, Beneath A Moonless Sky, Look With Your Heart and The Beauty Underneath for quite some time already.

Birthday gifts for myself :)

So off I went and turned on the computer to set the the DVD. Just as I felt when I can finally see POTO live, I found myself getting emotional about finally seeing Ben Lewis and Anna O’Byrne in the Australian production. I would pay to see Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as well but not everything I want can be given to me so freely.


I was prepared to dislike it or be nonchalant about it but as I watched, I knew that I like it as well. It’s no POTO and there are a lot of things I question, but nevertheless, I like it.

The production was splendid (The Australians did great here) and the cast did great as well. What I didn’t really like was the story.

I love Anna and she’s brilliant as an older Christine. Ben has expressive eyes and I like how he interpreted the older Erik. He’s still menacing and a bit maniacal but not quite too petty (or maybe he still is and I’m just biased).

The chemistry between Anna and Ben was there–really there!–and I love their scenes together because they sizzle together. Really.

Raoul (Simon Gleeson), well I never really liked Raoul (except when it’s Michael Ball, Hadley Fraser or Anthony Downing) but I don’t think he deserved to be turned into a gambling drunkard. Yes, yes. A lot of lords become that but Raoul, despite his immaturity, loved Christine and I knew him as an intelligent person (or at least not stupid) so there was no way I can see him as a good boy gone mad. I would forgive if he had turned cold over the years but a waste-away? Not really.

Jack Lyall is an adorable Gustave and I really think his character saved the sequel. LND didn’t seem much of a romantic love story to me but more like a father and son story. I cried after The Beauty Underneath. Well, parent-child story is a another weakness of mine, after all.

Okay. Madame Giry and Meg. The actors did good but I didn’t like what happened to these characters. They are not ambitious (okay so maybe they need to have some sort of ambition as well) but they certainly do not worship the Phantom. I actually think of Madame Giry as a powerful character despite her fear of Erik but I sure as hell do not think she’s a slave to Erik’s musical abilities. Meg is allowed to yearn for a better standing as an actress/singer but again, I do not think she would enslave herself to the Phantom the way she was characterized. And that is my opinion.

All these being said, I conclude that I still enjoyed and liked Love Never Dies and I am still going to listen to the songs because I do not hate it at all. Not even if it ended in that manner. I now view it as a totally different musical from Phantom of the Opera. It has its own charm and it doesn’t deserve the hate. That’s it. πŸ™‚


I also enjoyed watching LND because it was fun spotting Ms. Claire Lyon (currently the Christine in POTO world tour) in the ensemble. πŸ™‚


So aside from watching that, I celebrated my birthday by sleeping, eating, downloading bootlegs and video clips, and begging theater actors for birthday greetings. Haha! πŸ˜€

What I did not expect was the Mr. Peter Karrie greeted me even before I could ask for it. It was totally unexpected and I was so surprised that I almost cried. It was the best birthday gift ever! πŸ™‚

I'm a lucky girl. :D

I’m a lucky girl. πŸ˜€

More greetings for me:

birthday greetings

From Marcus Lovett (who's currently the Phantom/Erik in London POTO) and Joanna Ampil (one of the best theater actresses from the Philippines)

Greetings from my first Live Phantom and Christine




I’m a happy theater geek.