Andrew Lloyd Webber: a Musical Theatre Virtuoso Essay

1256 Words Dec 16th, 2012 6 Pages
Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Musical Theatre Virtuoso For many, musical theatre is an experience that not only posses the power of entertainment, but the power of transformation. Masters of music such as Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Berstein, and George Gershwin used music as a theatrical element by which intense emotions and ever changing moods could be expressed. Their beautiful scores are regarded as the most impressive and moving in musical theatre history. Joining them at the top is Andrew Lloyd Webber, a man who through his compositions has enchanted millions of theatre goers not only on West End but around the world. Andrew Lloyd Webber was born on March 22, 1948, in London, England. His father was a composer and an organist and …show more content…
The song “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” became a worldwide hit, which in 1996 was sung by the pop sensation, Madonna in a film adaptation of the musical (Encyclopedia Britannica). Without a lyricist, Webber found inspiration in a children’s book by T.S. Eliot, the musical Cats (1981) was born. It opened on West End on May 11, 1981, at the New London Theatre. Cats ran for a record breaking twenty-one years and 8,949 performances, concluding its reign over West End on its twenty first birthday May 11, 2002. Cats grossed over 12.3 million pounds on its closing year (which is equivalent to about 20 million US dollars). The show also opened on Broadway on October 7, 1982, running 7,485 performances, breaking the record for the longest running musical in Broadway history surpassing the musical A Chorus Line. In 1998 a film adaptation of Cats featuring Elaine Paige, who originated the role of Grizabella on West End, was produced. The musical phenomenon has been translated into over twenty languages and has been broadcasted on television worldwide. In recognition of his amazing work, Webber was awarded two Tony awards, one for best original score and another for best musical, as well as the Grammy award for best cast show album in 1983(Smithsonian). After the huge success of Cats, Webber composed the music for his next project, The Phantom of

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