By John Snelson
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the main famous—and such a lot controversial—composer of musical theater alive this day. 1000's of thousands of individuals have obvious his musicals, which come with Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight convey, Joseph and the fantastic Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ big name, Evita, and sundown street. much more be aware of his songs.Lloyd Webber’s many awards comprise seven Tonys and 3 Grammys—but he has still been the topic of better serious vitriol than any of his creative friends. Why have either the guy and his paintings provoked such severe responses? Does he problem his audiences, or purely recycle the cozy and normal? Over 3 many years, how has Lloyd Webber replaced essentially what a musical can be?In this sustained exam of Lloyd Webber’s artistic profession, the song student John Snelson explores the gigantic variety of affects that experience knowledgeable Lloyd Webber’s paintings, from movie, rock, and dad song to Lloyd Webber’s personal existence tale. This rigorous and sympathetic survey should be crucial examining for someone drawn to Lloyd Webber’s musicals and the realm of recent musical theater that he has been so instrumental in shaping.
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Extra resources for Andrew Lloyd Webber (Yale Broadway Masters Series)
When Cats opened in London, it received strong critical endorsement for its totality of experience as an evening in the theater, although its constituent elements came in for criticism—Gillian Lynne’s choreography was in turn praised and panned, for example. The overall response was perhaps summed up best by Robert Cushman’s remark ‘‘Cats isn’t perfect. ’’ 19 At the same time, any prediction of the scale of the show’s global and sustained success would have been met with incredulity; the quirkiness of its subject matter and presentational style would have seen to that.
That’s the paradox. There’s a show here which if I wanted to take it to Broadway, they’re going to have to change. Andrew and Tim think there’s something called American knowhow or some goddamn thing and they want what they wrote dealt with in that way. They’re being quite co-operative. The thing is, they’re dealing with a phenomenally successful piece of material and they don’t feel the need to change it. ’’ 11 The adaption of successfully launched West End shows to accommodate diﬀerent American tastes was to continue through the later works (such as Song & Dance and Cats for Broadway and Sunset Boulevard for Los Angeles), while the concept of a diﬀerent critical awareness in each country was to prove a recurring irritation.
Indeed, Rice and Lloyd Webber had pop songs recorded and released, including ‘‘Down Thru’ Summer’’ and ‘‘I’ll Give All My Love to Southend,’’ both recorded as a single by Ross Hannaman, whom Rice had encountered while working on her debut recording at EMI. There were several such numbers from the Rice–Lloyd Webber stable in the late 1960s, yet it was not through them that the composer and lyricist became successful, but through a work that began with a substantially diﬀerent proﬁle. Instead of secular pop, the new work was from a biblical text and was intended to be performed as a cantata by schoolchildren.