Andrew Lloyd Webber

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Andrew Lloyd Webber#1
Posted: 8/7/08 at 8:46pm
The Lord is about to celebrate is 60th Birthday, I would like to salute the Lord for his contribution to musical theatre, which has been immense. My top Lloyd Webber shows are;

Aspects of Love
Whistle down the Wind
Phantom of the Opera
Sunset Boulevard
Joseph
Evita
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Woman in White
The Beautiful Game*
Starlight Express
Cats
Song and Dance*
By Jeeves*

Well I have been brave enough to bare to the message board community my favorite ALW musicals, what are yours?
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#2
Posted: 8/8/08 at 12:29pm
I'm seeing the new production of Sunset Boulevard at The Windmill, Newbury tomorrow - very excited as it's my favourite ALW show. I really liked the music in The Woman in White, but was badly let down by the awful lyrics and Phantom in Las Vegas made me love it all over again - it's spectacular.
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#2
Posted: 8/9/08 at 1:34pm
What do the asterisks mean?
The rain we knew is a thing of the past -
deep-delving, dark, deliberate you would say
browsing on spire and bogland; but today
our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun,
our yachts tinkling and dancing in the bay
like racehorses. We contemplate at last
shining windows, a future forbidden to no one.


Derek Mahon

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

Arthur Miller
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#3
Posted: 8/9/08 at 1:40pm
I forgot to put that down, well observed Vinnie, they actually mean, shows I have not seen, but Beautiful game I have not seen, but heard the cast recording!

So are you going to be brave enough to give me your list?
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#4
Posted: 8/9/08 at 2:01pm
I'm interested that you've put Aspects of Love at the top of your list Phantom because I think that musical shows ALW's ambition but would have David Garnett turning in his grave.

I think ALW's best efforts are Evita and Sunset Boulevard both eof which I enjoy and listen to regularly. PotO and Cats are great entertainment. JCS and Joseph have good scores but someone needs to write a book for them someday. However I do think he has let himself down later in his career by accepting a lot less than the best from himself.

Bearing in mind some of the the things I've posted about the musicals he has composed on this site I would be a hypocrite if I were to praise him now but, yes - you are brave to post this on this particular site, and as such I won't post anything disrespectful about him on this thread.

And I do think that the enormous increase in theatre attendance as a result of his TV casting shows is a great thing for UK theatregoing audiences and professionals alike.

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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#5
Posted: 8/9/08 at 5:34pm
I have admired the Lord, as he took musical theatre back to the people,as in the 70s it was not so appealing and was in decline, his pop musica saved theatre and made it more popular.
He and Tim inspired Schonberg and Boublil with Jesus Christ Superstar.

I would like to work for the Lord as I understand he is a poor payer and do not agree with his political stance, but I have the greatest respect how he recreated british musical theatre and made the genre more accesible.

He deserves the respect of every musical theatre fan, for saving theatre.

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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#6
Posted: 8/10/08 at 2:10am
"He deserves the respect of every musical theatre fan, for saving theatre."

That is a bit of an overstatement. He did not save theatre. What he did for theatre was great. He drew in crowds and crowds to the theatre, and still does, but he did not 'save' theatre. I am not here to disrespect Andrew Lloyd Webber, but many of his scores are mediocre at best. It also should be taken into account that many of his pieces sound just like other compositions written by composers before him. Whether he stole it or not is debatable, but for it to happen on a few occasions should not be overlooked.

I enjoy Sunset Boulevard and Evita, but I would never go so far as to say ALW saved theatre.
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Updated On: 8/10/08 at 02:10 AM
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#7
Posted: 8/10/08 at 2:37am
I wouldn't say that Webber saved musical theatre. It wasn't like it was in a major decline before he came along. He got people to go in greater numbers but that is about it.

I remember reading in Wikipedia of all places that John Waters of Pink Floyd felt that it was clear that Webber stole a part of their song Echos for the Phantom overture. He said that he wasn't going to sue because he felt that life was too short to fight over little matters like that. I looked the video up on youtube and Waters was right. The main few notes of the overture and that melody they play whenever the Phantom has done something wrong in the show. Sounds A LOT like a part from the song Echos.
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#8
Posted: 8/10/08 at 7:46am
"It wasn't like it was in a major decline before he came along."

Oh yes it was. Musical theatre had serious problems on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1970s.

On Broadway masterpieces like Sweeney Todd and On The Twentieth Century were only achieving modest runs (and then failing in London). Other Broadway musicals with great scores were flops for a whole variety of reasons (Mack and Mabel, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, The Grand Tour, ballroom, Carmelina to name but a few...).

In the West End the idea still prevailed (with plenty of justification) that the British couldn't write, direct, produce or perform musicals to the standards of Broadway. Evita, Cats and Les Miserables changed that then, now and forever. These shows got people coming to see musicals again. Where would musical theatre be if these shows had never happenned? I can't see a London production of Big River having achieved this!

And so I will give ALW (and Cameron) an e-pat-on-the-back for that reason.

"many of his scores are mediocre at best"

A lot his earlier and some of his middle career isn't - that's the whole reason audiences started coming - they enjoyed the music. The musicals that contained them may have sometimes been mediocre but if his entire career was one of mediocrity he would never have achieved the success he has.
Updated On: 8/10/08 at 07:46 AM
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#9
Posted: 8/10/08 at 12:53pm
I agree his earlier works are his better scores, but imo the only standout scores are Evita, Sunset Boulevard, and Poto. I included Phantom not because it's a great score, but he obviously did something right because people love it. I don't know why though.

In my opinion, Evita is his only good score. It's fantastic really. Sunset Boulevard is mediocre at best, but it's two ballads are stunning. And again, he did something right for POTO so I'm including that one too.

One thing about ALW...he writes great ballads. That's about all he writes that's great.

"Light the candles! Get the ice out! Roll the rug up, it's today!"
Updated On: 8/10/08 at 12:53 PM
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#10
Posted: 8/10/08 at 1:53pm
I like the show in which he keeps repeating the same music over and over again. Which one is it?
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#11
Posted: 8/10/08 at 2:20pm
You definitely sound like A Sondheim fan and American, a bit disconcerted that the Lord dominated Broadway and stole Sondheim as being the best musical writer. But I do understan where you are coming from in repeating ballards, in my opinion nothing wrong with reprising music.

I still think Aspects of Love is his best score and very much underated the story is sublime and it is a show that I can listen to again on my ipod and still link bits of the show, which I originally missed.

Lets have more comments or even better a favorite ALW lists.
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#12
Posted: 8/10/08 at 2:38pm
Stephen Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer, with seven Tony Awards: Best Music and Best Lyrics for Company (1971); and Best Score for Follies (1972), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd (1979), Into the Woods (198re: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Passion (1994).

Let us look at the results of the 1988 Tony Awards, shall we?


Best Original Score Written for the Theatre

* Into the Woods Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Nominees:

* The Phantom of the Opera Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe
* Romance/Romance Music by Keith Herrmann, lyrics by Barry Harman
* Sarafina! Music and lyrics by Mbongeni Ngema and Hugh Masakela
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#13
Posted: 8/10/08 at 3:20pm
And the average score for La Cage Aux Folles won over the genius of SitPwG a few years earlier. So what? There are plenty of threads on this site comparing the relative ticklists and achievements of Sondheim and ALW. They often denigrate in juevenile spats rather than mature debate.

Sondheim himself doesn't see there being a competition between himself and Lloyd Webber and doesn't like it when his fans debase matters into such a competition. And I have that in writing with his signature at the base of the letter.

So please can we keep the debate on the level of ALW's contribution to theatre rather than turning it into yet another boring and peurile Sondheim-did-this and ALW-did-that type of thread.

If Sondheim fans really understand and respect his work they should be capable of operating on a multilateral level (and spelling "write" correctly).
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#14
Posted: 8/10/08 at 4:39pm
^yawn
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#15
Posted: 8/10/08 at 4:46pm
"^yawn."

Thank you for your back-handed compliment! re: Andrew Lloyd Webber

You post proves the worth and validity of my comment! re: Andrew Lloyd Webber

Try to grow up and use your intelligence in future (if you have any)! re: Andrew Lloyd Webber
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#16
Posted: 8/10/08 at 6:59pm
"You definitely sound like A Sondheim fan and American, a bit disconcerted that the Lord dominated Broadway and stole Sondheim as being the best musical writer."

First of all, there's nothing wrong with being American. If you're inferring that I can't understand that what ALW did for theatre was great because I'm American, then you are mistaken. I agreed that what he did for theatre was amazing, but as I said before he did not 'save' it. He gave theatre a huge incline to grow upon, and I thank him for it, but he did not 'save' theatre.

Second of all, I'm not disconcerted at all. I don't feel Webber stole any of the fame and fortune Sondheim deserved. Sondheim didn't deserve the fame. Theatre is about conveying a story through means of music, performance, and design. Anyone in the theatre who truly understands it, works not for the fame, but for the love of the profession. Frankly, I thank Sir Webber for his fame because it allowed Sondheim to continue writing great shows that did not need to cater to the masses.

Americans have intellectual ability, believe it or not. Of course not all Europeans think so.

"So please can we keep the debate on the level of ALW's contribution to theatre rather than turning it into yet another boring and peurile Sondheim-did-this and ALW-did-that type of thread."

If you were inferring that I was, you are sorely mistaken. Because I don't think ALW is the greatest thing to happen to the world since fire doesn't mean that I'm saying Sondheim is better. I have acknoledged that ALW has some good compositions. In fact, I love Evita, and LOVE the ballads that he writes. It is possible for a Sondheim fan to like Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It's a shame you think so lowly of Sondheim fans. We don't turn everything about ALW into a childish debate.

"If Sondheim fans really understand and respect his work they should be capable of operating on a multilateral level (and spelling "write" correctly)."

Again, I respect his work. I even love some of his work. But obviously you can only think that because I like Sondheim I hate ALW and have no respect for him. It's a shame you are so quick to judge.

By the way, I obviously can spell "write" correctly. It was a simple spelling mistake. However because I spelled it incorrectly, you felt the need to be immature and point it out, so as to make me look stupid. It's funny because you just said:

"They often denigrate in juevenile spats rather than mature debate."

It seems the only one being immature here is you.

And by the way, La Cage Aux Folles is a great score. But I certainly couldn't admit that Jerry Herman has great compositions because I'm a Sondheim fan, now could I?



"Light the candles! Get the ice out! Roll the rug up, it's today!"
Updated On: 8/10/08 at 06:59 PM
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#17
Posted: 8/11/08 at 2:32pm
"It seems the only one being immature here is you."

An objective reading of this thread shows the first immature post to be that of sondheimfan2 with "^yawn" - obviously unable to deal with the objectivity and analysis of my thrillingly insightful posts. However, whilst never initiating immaturity myself, I do reserve the right to respond in kind.

"It's a shame you think so lowly of Sondheim fans."

I don't. My parents were Sondheim fans, many of my theatregoing friends are Sondheim fans and I'm one too (and you've probably worked out I don't have a low opinion of myself). I just have low opinions of Sondheim fans who let themselves down by making posts that suggest they've learnt nothing from his work.

There's rather more I could say but the initiator of this thread clearly wanted it to be about ALW and not Sondheim so I shall leave it at that.



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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#18
Posted: 8/11/08 at 5:08pm
Im afriad I'm a fan of modern shows, so ALW doesnt fit well with me, so actually, i have shared feelings for all of his shows, as the only part I like is the end (Cause I get to go home!!!) Sorry, but his shows just aren't for me!
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#19
Posted: 8/11/08 at 5:42pm
I agree with Scribbs who is a top man, this is degenerating into juvenile spats than mature debate.

I must admit I am not the biggest Sondheim fan, but I love West Side Story, which I am going to see on Sunday at Sadler Wells.

Lets move on with this posting, what are your favorite ALW shows?
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#20
Posted: 8/11/08 at 5:54pm
I think that his best are Phantom, Woman in White and Sunset. I think that these are by far his best scores, the latter two were vastly underrated. They need to hurry up and make Sunset into a film though, I hate development hell re: Andrew Lloyd Webber I actually think that both Sunset and the WIW are more cinematic shows, better than Phantom anyway, because Joel Schumacher's film murdered the original.
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#21
Posted: 8/19/08 at 9:32pm
As theatrejoe, started a thread on Phantom, I thought I give mine a bump, just think of it as a bogoff.
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#22
Posted: 8/20/08 at 6:48am
Oh, a love thread? Well, I must say, I do rather enjoy the following shows:

'Jesus Christ Superstar'
'Evita'
'Sunset Boulevard'
'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (it's just FUN dammit, and it was my first West End show, so I'll always think on it kindly)

Take it as read that I have issues with any show not listed. But even though I wouldn't call myself a fan, I do have to laugh derogatively at anyone who suggests ALW didn't do a lot for musical theatre. You can love him, you can hate him, but he has done a LOT for theatre and it's idiotic to believe otherwise. He's not only composed shows, he's also put a lot of bums on seats, he owns quite a lot of those seats which could easily have been demolished by now if other people had bought the theatres instead of him, and he seems to do quite well with producing as well. As with every musical theatre debate, you can't just pin a show/person's influence down to whether you like the music or not. There's SO much more going on that needs consideration!
Updated On: 8/20/08 at 06:48 AM
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#23
Posted: 8/20/08 at 7:40am
Have to agree with Weez' preferences there. Have a similar sneaking soft spot for Joseph myself, which is probably not as uncommon as some might like. I remember the first time I heard "Close Every Door" and I was absolutely spellbound! And you never forget a response like that. I still think it is a fantastic song. And on the back of that alone, Joseph might well survive us all. It was an amazing achievment for ones so young. But I am not a huge fan of the show per se, although there are worse ways to spend money than to come out of a show grinning your head off. I probably would count myself as a bit of a fan (however much I dislike the word) of the other three, though, JCS, Evita and Sunset Boulevard. I think Evita is still probably ALW's greatest masterpiece, but the other two are up there trying. JCS might be tending to date slightly more, but there is real brilliance there. Likewise do have a few issues with the others, albeit to varying degrees. But do actually have another bit of a soft spot for "Tell me on a Sunday".
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re: Andrew Lloyd Webber#24
Posted: 8/28/08 at 10:45am
My first ever West End show was Starlight Express, however after seeing it numerous times, I can no longer stand it! I love Evita, Phantom and Tell Me On a Sunday, but that's about it for me and Lloyd Webber. I only like those because they are the only shows of his that have a particular uniqueness to the score, I find his other works far too predictable and similar to one another. I hate Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar with a passion. I dislike the majority of the score to Cats, but I do have soft spot for Cats, as I'm fascinated by the choreography more and more every time I see it. I have only briefly heard Sunset Boulevard and it seems like one of his better ones, is it worth a listen? Could somebody maybe send PM me if they have a recording of it and then send me it through my email? I have no money to fork out on a CD lol! Thanks x
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