Other Andrew Lloyd Webber Productions
Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the leading composers in musical theatre and his success in the industry has been phenomenal. He has written the music to some of the world’s best-loved musicals, including his most successful – The Phantom of the Opera. Having been knighted in 1992, Lord Lloyd Webber has received Tony, Grammy, Academy and Golden Globe Awards, and owns one of the largest theatre operators in London – the Really Useful Group. So other than one of the best loved musicals in history, what other shows has Andrew Lloyd Webber been involved with?
Andrew Lloyd Webber Productions 1965-2012
The Likes of Us (1965)
Based on the true story of Thomas John Barnardo, a philanthropist who helped over 60,000 children in his lifetime by founding homes to destitute children, The Likes of Us has music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice in 1965, but it wasn’t until as late as 2005 that the show was staged. It is now often staged by amateur theatre companies.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968)
Based on the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis in the Bible, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was turned into a musical in 1968, again with lyrics by Tim Rice. This was the first musical by the duo to be performed publicly, and the show saw great success. Having been produced in the West End in 1973, the show has since had countless West End revivals and tours. Revival stars include Jason Donovan, who hit #1 in the UK singles charts for his rendition of “Any Dream Will Do”, and 70’s heartthrob Donny Osmond who played Joseph in a 1999 film version of the musical.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera with musical by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, which was first staged on Broadway in 1971. The story is based loosely on the last week of Jesus’ life, and was brought to the West End in 1972, with a revival in the 90s. The musical is set to be revived again in the UK with a TV show to find the role of Jesus being planned.
With lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn and music by Lloyd Webber, Jeeves opened in 1975 at Her Majesty’s Theatre and closed after only 38 performances. Based on the novels by P.G Wodehouse, it was an unfortunate flop that was rewritten in 1996 with the new title of By Jeeves. The second time around, it was a lot more successful.
One of Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s most successful projects, Evita tells the story of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Peron. Beginning as a concept album in 1976, Evita was subsequently produced at the West End in 1978 and Broadway a year later, with tremendous success. In 1996 it was adapted into a film starring Madonna in the title role, with Webber and Rice winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘You Must Love Me’. In 2006 the musical was revived in the West End and a Broadway revival opened in early 2012.
Tell Me on a Sunday (1979)
With lyrics by Don Black , Tell Me on a Sunday tells the story of a girl from London’s Muswell Hill who sets out on a journey to the USA in search of love. It first opened in the West End in 1982 and Broadway three years later, and although it is a much smaller project by Lloyd Webber, it enjoyed a revival in 2003.
Another of Lloyd Webber’s most famous projects is the musical Cats. Based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a book of poetry by T.S Eliot, Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 winning numerous awards and running for an incredible 21 years. Cats features the popular song ‘Memory’.
Starlight Express (1984)
With lyrics by Richard Stilgoe, Starlight Express first opened in 1984 in the West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and became one of the longest-running musicals in history, closing in 2002. The story tells the tale of a child’s dream in which his toy train set comes to life, with the actors of the show performing wearing roller skates. A new production of the show is set to tour the UK in 2012.
Cricket is a short musical with lyrics by Tim Rice that Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music to, and it was commissioned especially for the Queen’s 60th birthday. It was performed at Windsor Castle in 1986 and is the last original musical that Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote together.
Aspects of Love (1989)
Aspects of Love features lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart, and is based on the novella of the same name by David Garnett. Lloyd Webber used five of the tunes that he had written for Cricket in Aspects of Love and opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1989, closing after a successful 1,325 performances. The show also opened on Broadway but was seen as a flop. A UK tour of Aspects of Love commenced in 2007.
Sunset Boulevard (1993)
Featuring a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is based on the 1950 film of the same title. The story revolves around fictional character Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent era. The stage adaptation opened in 1993 at the Adelphi Theatre and closed in 1997.
Whistle Down the Wind (1996)
Based on the 1961 film of the same title, Whistle Down the Wind features music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Jim Steinman. The show premiered in Washington DC in 1996 before opening at the Aldwych Theatre in 1998. It was fairly popular and closed in 2001.
The Beautiful Game (2000)
The Beautiful Game features lyrics by Ben Elton and follows a group of teenagers growing up during ‘The Troubles’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1969. The show opened at the Cambridge Theatre with mixed reviews, and ran for just under a year.
Bombay Dreams (2002)
Bombay Dreams does not feature music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but the show was produced by the musical maestro. A Bollywood-themed musical, Bombay Dreams has music by A.R Rahman and lyrics by Don Black, and ran for two years in the West End from 2002. The show was also produced on Broadway in 2004.
The Woman in White (2004)
With lyrics by David Zippel and book by Charlotte Jones, The Woman in White is based on the novel of the same title by Wilkie Collins. It opened at the Palace Theatre in London in 2004 and ran for 19 months. Its transfer to Broadway was not successful, running for the short period of only three months.
How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? – On following his lifelong dream to produce a revival West End production of The Sound of Music and failing to ensnare Scarlett Johansson into the lead role, Andrew Lloyd webber embarked upon a televised quest to find a leading lady. After two months on air, Lord Lloyd Webber managed to cast Connie Fisher in the role. Produced as he had envisaged, The Sound of Music ran for over 2 years and sparked Andrew’s trend in televised open audition casting.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2007 revival)
The show that never dies! Following revivals in 1991 and 2003, Andrew Lloyd Webber decided it was time to bring back his much celebrated musical with another televised audition process. Thus “Any Dream Will Do” flounced onto television screens in the summer of ’07 seeing 25-year-old Lee Mead snag the role of Joseph. The revival ran for almost two years at the London Palladium.
Yet another TV show overseen by Andrew Lloyd Webber in a quest to find the next up and coming star. “I’d Do Anything” aired on the BBC in 2008, leading to the discovery of Jodie Prenger who became Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s latest production of Oliver! It is worth noting that Andrew had nothing to do with the production itself and was merely the recognisable face of the TV casting show.
Love Never Dies (2010)
Love Never Dies is the latest full musical that Andrew Lloyd Webber has written, and was met with much criticism. The show is the sequel to the phenomenally successful The Phantom of the Opera, and it opened at the Adelphi Theatre in 2010. The show closed in November of that year for four days, to allow for re-writes, yet the musical still didn’t quite take off, and it closed in August 2011.
Once again, Andrew threw himself into the realms of reality TV to cast the lead in his forthcoming musical The Wizard of Oz. “Over the Rainbow” bombarded the BBC from March – May 2010, culminating in the discovery of 18-year-old Danielle Hope as Dorothy and 17 year old Sophie Evans as her understudy. Andrew had a far more hands on role in The Wizard of Oz as he both co-produced and adapted the original score, writing new musical numbers such as “Already Home.” The Wizard of Oz ran for 19 months at the London Palladium and is set to follow a similar process in Canada.
Jesus Christ Superstar (2012)
Another Lloyd Webber musical that is back with a vengeance (with the aid of reality TV of course!) Switching from the BBC to ITV, Lord Lloyd Webber launched his search for Jesus in new TV show Superstar. The revival of Jesus Christ Superstar will be in the form of a UK arena tour.
As you can see, Andrew Lloyd Webber has written the music and produced some of the most popular shows in West End history, and his success is likely to continue in the future.