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Andrew Lloyd Webber weighs in on Tonys

May 07,2018
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LOS ANGELES - Andrew Lloyd Webber has written some of the most successful stage musicals of all time. So, when he weighs in on the year’s Tony contenders, announced earlier this week, it’s time to listen.

“I’m very interested that ‘The Band’s Visit’ has been celebrated,” commented the composer of the best-musical winners “Cats,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Sunset Boulevard.”

“The Band’s Visit,” from composer David Yazbek, is based on an Israeli film about an Egyptian police band lost in a small Israeli town. The musical this week was among the year’s top Tony nominees.

“I found it very exciting,” Lloyd Webber said Thursday. “I loved the score. I hope that does well.” The six-time Tony winner said he’s seen all the shows on Broadway: “It’s an intriguing season.”

Lloyd Webber himself is part of the latest Tonys mix. He and actress Chita Rivera each will receive 2018 awards for Lifetime Achievement.

Lloyd Webber was in Hollywood Pantages theater this week to promote the Los Angeles premiere of his Broadway and London hit “School of Rock ? The Musical,” based on the 2003 movie that starred Jack Black as a down-and-out musician who stumbles into a gig as a prep-school teacher.

Lloyd Webber said he originally only planned to produce the project, but found the show’s pop-rock sensibility so appealing that he ended up as the show’s composer.

The contemporary style is different from the classic Broadway bombast of Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” “Phantom” and “Boulevard.” But, Lloyd Webber reminded, his Broadway debut was the rock-opera smash “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“I think it’s that so many of my musicals have hung around for such a long time, that people maybe forget,” he said. “But I enjoy writing in many different ways and styles.”

As for his next show, Lloyd Webber seemed eager to discuss it - but just can’t. He said its fate is currently in the hands of higher powers - in this case, rights holders.

“You’ve got to remember musicals are incredibly collaborative,” he explained. “But I’m only one cog in the wheel.” AP