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Love Never Dies

Meghan Picerno stars as Christine in "Love Never Dies."

Meghan Picerno is thrilled to be headed to Chicago with a new national tour that's a sequel to one of the live stage's beloved shows.

Picerno stars as Christine in "Love Never Dies," which plays the Cadillac Palace Theatre through March 4.

"I'm super excited to come to Chicago. That's my hometown," said Picerno, who actually grew up in suburban LaGrange.

The actress said many of her friends and family will be attending the show.

"Love Never Dies," starring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater, is in its first national tour. The production is a sequel to the popular "Phantom of the Opera." It tells the story of the Phantom and his love interest Christine 10 years after he disappeared from Paris' Opera House. The story is set in New York, and starring as the phantom is Garder Thor Cortes.

"It's quite a magical show. It's absolutely beautiful from the music and costumes to sets," said Picerno. The singer said the production really does a wonderful job of transporting audience members to the "magnificent, beautiful and dark world" of the phantom.

After Picerno was cast in what she considers a dream role, she said she had the chance to probe the mind of the master composer.

"I had the opportunity to speak with Andrew Lloyd Webber and as an opera singer (that was a great opportunity). I had so many questions for him," Picerno said.

The actress/singer said LLoyd Webber told her he believes the music for "Love Never Dies" is the best thing he's ever written.

Picerno said it's quite interesting playing the character of Christine, who is now a wife and mother.

"Where we find these characters in their lives is kind of extraordinary," she said. This production, Picerno explained, "dives into the psyche" of the characters a bit more than the original "The Phantom of the Opera."

Picerno said the cast members in the show all work as a wonderful team.

"When you're part of an Andrew Lloyd Webber show, you're part of a family," she said.

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Features reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.