When news broke two weeks ago that Andrew Lloyd Webber had set his hotly-dreaded Phantom of the Opera sequel in Coney Island circa 1919, the AP quoted Webber saying, "[Coney Island] was the eighth wonder of the world. Think of Vegas and then triple it." But the wire service left out the best and most controversial part of that quote, and some Coney Island locals have been insulted a little bit.
The full quote Webber gave at the press conference included this declaration of war on the entire borough of Brooklyn: "Of course, Coney Island today is nothing at all.." Damn, you gonna take that Coney? Not Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, who tells the Daily News, "What he said is insulting. If we're 'nothing at all' why did he set his new musical here?" And Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, retorts, "We have a more authentic freak show than what he's got onstage."
A publicist for the sequel, called Love Never Dies, has tried to placate locals by insisting that Webber was "simply pointing out that it is a different place today than it was 100 years ago." Which is certainly true, but not for nothing, it's not "nothing." Until Weber personally apologizes to Coney Island, we're boycotting the Broadway transfer of Love Never Dies!