The 'Phantom' Returns,. So Long, Paris. Hello, Coney Island

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Mary Michael Patterson was just born when The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway 30 years ago. Now the actress is touring in the show’s sequel, Love Never Dies, which plays Hartford’s Bushnell May 29 to June 3.

“It’s a standalone piece,” says Patterson, who has played Christine in previous Phantom productions and the new character of Meg in this one. “If you haven’t seen Phantom you can still enjoy yourself and enjoy the story — though I don’t know many people who haven’t seen it at this point.”

“The first Phantom is the romantic, new, youthful love,” says Patterson, who says she saw the original touring production in Fort Worth, Texas, when she was a 9-year-old girl. “This version looks at the other end of love, which is more mature, and even tragic and heartbreaking. I think it’s a more sophisticated and nuanced look at love and audiences respond to it.”

And how are the chandeliers holding up?

This Coney Island-set show has elements that are a little bit frightening “but the world we set up is a little bit creepy rather than scary.” But, she says, the ending still gets an audible gasp — though in an entirely different way, she says. (Spoiler alert: Someone dies. Ah, but who?)