Confession time: despite my love for musicals, I have never watched an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical live. The closest I’ve ever come is the 1973 “Jesus Christ Superstar” film with Ted Neely (Jesus) and Carl Anderson (Judas). I know the songs of course – everyone knows the songs! – but I’ve never heard them sung live nor in context. I got the former but not the latter when I got to see “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” last July 2 in the CCP Main Theater.
“The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” was exactly how it was described: a theatrical event featuring timeless songs from 14 musicals spanning ALW’s decades-long career. The show allowed older fans to relive their favorite musicals while introducing new fans (or non-fans) to ALW’s extensive body of work. There were no story and costumes: just a whole lot of music.
- Michael Cormick and Trisha Crowe were utterly perfect in “The Phantom of the Opera”. CHILLS!!!
- “Tell Me on a Sunday”, regardless of who sang it (but Delia Hannah did a great job). “Tell Me on a Sunday” is my favorite ALW song. No, I didn’t know it was by ALW prior to this show.
- “No Matter What” with Blake Bowden, Shaun Rennie, Andrew Conaghan, and their corny (yet appropriate) choreography. They all looked so adorable! No, I didn’t know that this was an ALW song either. All the while I thought it was a Boyzone original.
- The show is best appreciated if you’re already familiar with the musicals. As I said before, you don’t get the context of the song. Your only introduction to the song are the graphics on the huge screens that include the musical’s poster. Because of this, the songs that got the most applause were the popular ones (“Memory”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “All I Ask of You”, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”) and the showstoppers (“Tell Me on a Sunday”, “Sunset Boulevard”, “Superstar”).
- Shaun Rennie as Judas didn’t work for me 🙁 He was almost there but not quite.
- No “Gethsemane”? Sadness.