This weekend, BroadwayWorld will be presenting an illuminating InDepth InterView with legendary composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber all about the enchanting new performance capture film version of his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA sequel, LOVE NEVER DIES. Until that chat, let's take a look back at some of the finest Andrew Lloyd Webber-related performances related to the entertainment dynasty built upon his operatic pop musical version of the classic Gaston Leroux novel that is about to celebrate its 10,000th performance on Broadway later this month, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, as well as its continuation, LOVE NEVER DIES, and the pair of revivals of his classic 70s hit stage collaborations with previous InDepth InterView participant Sir Tim Rice coming back to Broadway in a big way - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and EVITA. Plus, a look at the new Simon Phillips-directed production of LOVE NEVER DIES coming to Fathom-equipped movie theaters nationwide on February 28 and March 7, with DVD & Blu-ray after that, as well as the PHANTOM 25 DVD & Blu-ray being released in the US on February 7 and some glimpses at that. It's certainly a busy time of year for phans, clearly! Fetch your favorite mask and check out these four Andrew Lloyd Webber delicacies before they arrive in movie theaters, Broadway theaters and DVD/Blu-ray!
For tickets to Fathom's presentation of LOVE NEVER DIES in movie theaters, you may visit the official site here.
Pre-order the DVD/Blu-ray of LOVE NEVER DIES here.
Pre-order the DVD/Blu-ray of PHANTOM 25 AT THE ROYAL Albert Hall here.
Are You Who They Say You Are?
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Starting with the score that began the world's still-ongoing love affair with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, here is a look at his - and Tim Rice's - first major international success, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Listen to the unforgettable Overture from the 1970 concept album of the innovative rock opera below. What a way to begin!
Singing the score's biggest crossover pop/country hit, here is original Broadway Mary Magdelene, Yvonne Elliman, performing "I Don't Know How To Love Him" in the Norman Jewison film adaptation of the show.
Next, hear one of the finest vocal renditions of one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's most compelling and difficult songs, the searing "Gethsemane", as performed by 90s revival Jesus, Steve Balsamo, reprising his role in a 2004 concert. That note during the interlude is heaven-sent for sure! Wow!
Closing out the JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR portion of today's look at Andrew Lloyd Webber, here is the man behind the music meeting with the cast of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's lauded revival, directed by JERSEY BOYS and THE WHO'S TOMMY original helmer Des McAnuff, which is the basis for the upcoming Broadway revival featuring many of the same highly-acclaimed young performers in lead roles.
As a SUPERSTAR bonus, here is the explosive commercial for the ultra-contemporary production of the rock opera coming soon to Broadway.
They Need To Adore Me, So Christian Dior Me
While EVITA may be known to Generation Y as a middling Madonna movie musical star vehicle, the original stage production, both on the West End and on Broadway, was directed by master Tony Award-winning director Hal Prince in his inimitable style - and with two titanic young discoveries given ample chance to shine in their first major lead roles; Elaine Paige and Patti LuPone. While the Alan Parker film managed to make visual poetry of much of the incredibly impressive and multi-layered score, the performances lacked the over-the-top power of the many notable performers who had taken on the songs before. So, let us focus on the best of the best from EVITA - and, with so much to choose from!
First up, here is the original Broadway cast of EVITA, led by Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton and Mandy Patinkin, performing the thrilling Act One Finale, "A New Argentina". What a belt!
Before Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige sang the show's most famous anthem - the Act Two opener, "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" - Julie Covington was the first to record it. Here is the original concept album version of the indescribably powerful plea to the people on behalf of Eva.
To compare, here is Elaine Paige at the sensational Andrew Lloyd Webber'S 50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION concert. Time is unbelievably kind to some, it seems - particularly Ms. Paige! Magnetic.
Now, here is the Oscar-winning new composition created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the 1995 feature film version starring Madonna. "You Must Love Me" is rumored to be a part of the new Broadway production, as well - and for good reason; it's a gem.
Lastly in the EVITA portion of today's Andrew Lloyd Webber celebration, here is a look behind the scenes at the recent photo shoot for the EVITA Broadway ad campaign, featuring leads Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris.
As a special EVITA bonus, here we have Elaine Paige and the cast of the now-just-closed Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's FOLLIES performing a hilarious EVITA parody at this year's GYPSY OF THE YEAR show - all centering on the fact that one show had to close in order for the other to open at the Marquis Theater. FOLLIES gone funereal with EVITA on top!
Angels Of Music
PHANTOM 25 & LOVE NEVER DIES
The last six months have proven to be positively phantastic for fans of PHANTOM, for we have had not one, but two new film captures of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-related entities - first, the simply spectacular PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AT THE ROYAL Albert Hall (PHANTOM 25 for short), starring Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, and, coming up soon, the equally enthralling and even more technically impressive film rendering of the PHANTom Continuation, LOVE NEVER DIES. I had the privilege of seeing the film of LOVE NEVER DIES earlier this week and an extensive SOUND OFF review will be coming later this weekend - but, here's a hint: you're in for a huge treat!
So, let us now take a look at the show that started at all: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
Here is the original music video for the title song - with the complete Richard Stilgoe lyrics - directed by the recently deceased Ken Russell and starring Sarah Brightman and Steve Harley.
Following that, now we have a PHANTOM moment captured live at 1988 Tony Awards, introduced by Angela Lansbury: the performance of the title song and "Music Of The Night", led by that year's Tony-winner, Michael Crawford, alongside then-Mrs. Lloyd Webber and the inspiration for the show herself, Sarah Brightman.
Bringing today's entire column together in one clip, witness original Christine, Sarah Brightman, with film EVITA Che, Antonio Banderas, singing the title song from PHANTOM at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday.
Now, check out the trailer for the 25th Anniversary performance of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, recorded live and in HD. A masterful accomplishment in musical films that is impossible to forget.
Next, take in the trailer for the Australian production of LOVE NEVER DIES coming to DVD and Blu-ray in a few short weeks - and movie theaters even sooner! A sumptuous feast for the eyes, ears and heart - and so much more.
So, which Andrew Lloyd Webber-written entertainment are you most looking forward to seeing in the new couple of weeks and months: PHANTOM 25? JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR? EVITA? LOVE NEVER DIES? What a wondrous year 2012 is turning out to be for fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber's dexterous and alluring melodies and the dynamic and daring productions that contain them - and, the casts that star in them, as well! There is a lot to look forward to from the man who writes the music of the night - nearly 10,000 such occasions at the Majestic Theater alone... so far!