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Andrew Lloyd Webber Dishes on His Ideal Dorothy for Upcoming WIZARD OF OZ

Andrew Lloyd Webber recently sat down with to chat about his new BBC television talent program "Over the Rainbow" and talk about what qualities his ideal Dorothy should have.

Webber stated that the talent competition is not necessarily about finding a clone of Judy Garland, but rather a more modern version of her. He explained that "she doesn't have to be conventionally beautiful. The main thing she has to do is break your heart. The show is about a bored teenager from Kansas who wants to get away from home, but ends up discovering that home is where the heart is. Our Dorothy has to take us on that journey. It would be fabulous if we found a modern version of Judy Garland."

Beyond dishing about Dorothy, Anrew Lloyd Webber, an avid cat lover, joked about how difficult it has been to cast Dorothy's K-9 sidekick Toto. He told that "all these Totos have been thrust in my direction. As a cat man, it's been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do!"

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Auditions began in January for the next star of the West End, as Andrew Lloyd Webber launched his search for the next Dorothy in his upcoming production of the Wizard of Oz. The lucky leading lady will be selected over the course of a several week "audition" process on the BBC1 reality television show Over the Rainbow. Webber's official website reveals that hundreds of potential candidates headed to the Glasgow town of Hampden to be among the first to audition.

As the auditions kicked off on Saturday 9th January, Andrew said: "I am incredibly excited to be launching the nationwide search for Dorothy and Toto in Glasgow. I am really looking forward to seeing what talent this great city has to offer."

Webber tells the U.K.'s The Sun of his future star: "I want a Dorothy with attitude! She'll be more Avril Lavigne than Judy Garland. Of course, Judy Garland made the role famous but I'm looking for a 21st century Dorothy...Okay, she probably won't have strange green hair or anything, but she'll be someone who would fit in on the streets here. She'll have attitude and probably have an iPod."

The Over the Rainbow talent show follows the success of I'd Do Anything, Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? - which found Jodie Prenger, Lee Mead and Connie Fisher for the West End productions of Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Sound of Music respectively.

The West End production of The Wizard of Oz will be produced in the West End in 2010 by Lloyd Webber's own Really Useful Group. Over the Rainbow reality show and The Wizard of Oz stage production joins Love Never Dies on Webber's Really Useful Group plate for 2010. Love Never Dies will have its World Premiere in London at the Adelphi Theatre on Tuesday 9 March 2010, followed by New York on Thursday 11 November and Australia in 2011.

Love Never Dies continues the story of The Phantom, who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island, far across the Atlantic. Set ten years after the mysterious disappearance of The Phantom from Paris, this show is a rollercoaster ride of obsession and which music and memory can play cruel tricks...and The Phantom sets out to prove that, indeed, "Love Never Dies".

The Phantom of the Opera, based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, has proved a huge success the world over and has been seen by over 100 million people, making it the single most successful entertainment entity in history. The show has been translated into 15 languages and has played in over 25 different countries, including China, Brazil, Poland and Korea. The Phantom of the Opera opened at Her Majesty's Theatre in London on 9 October 1986 starring Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford and celebrated its 23rd London birthday on 9 October 2009. The Phantom of the Opera has won a staggering 50 awards worldwide, whilst global album sales currently stand at over 40 million copies.

Love Never Dies is now playing in London at the Adelphi Theatre. The performance schedule is Mondays - Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets, priced from £25.00 - £67.50 (to include 75p theatre restoration levy and inclusive of booking fees), are available from the Adelphi Theatre Box Office on 0844 412 4651 or online from

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of The Likes of Us, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me on a Sunday combined as Song & Dance, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of The Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down The Wind, The Beautiful Game and The Woman in White. He composed The film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File, and Requiem, a setting of The Latin Requiem Mass, for which he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition. He has also produced in The West End and on Broadway, not only his own work, but The Olivier Award-winning plays La Bête and Daisy Pulls It Off. In 2004 he produced The film version of The Phantom of The Opera. In 2006 he oversaw a new London production of Evita, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular and pioneered television casting for musical Theater with The hit BBC series "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" which won an International Emmy. He followed this with The equally successful series "Any Dream Will Do." His awards include seven Tonys®, three Grammys, six Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, an International Emmy, The Praemium Imperiale and The Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997. He's a 2006 Kennedy Center Honoree.

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