Is Andrew Lloyd Webber Taking Over Broadway This Year?

Is it true? Will Andrew Lloyd Webber be taking over Broadway this season? It sort of looks like it’s gonna happen. If you love Andrew Lloyd Webber, it looks like you will have several musicals to choose from in the upcoming Broadway season:

The Phantom of the Opera – The longest running musical on Broadway. As of July 3rd, reports, that it has played 9,747 performances. It’s well on it’s way to hit 10,000 performances. It’s totally unreal and unimaginable how this musical from the 1986 season is still running strong after 25 years. Last week, it was at 90.3% capacity, grossing almost a million dollars. Incredible.

Love Never Dies – This sequel to Phantom of the Opera has been in the works since 1990, but it wasn’t till 2010, 20 years later, that Love Never Dies was produced in the West End. Webber’s plan was to open this production on three continents simultaneously and have it move to Broadway last season. In a bold move (even after securing a theatre), the plans fell through and was cancelled (mostly because of the mediocre reviews in London).

While it hasn’t been officially announced, is reporting that: “This is only the second production of Love Never Dies ever to be staged in the world”, said Tim McFarlane [Managing Director of the Really Useful Company (Asia Pacific) and Producer of the hit musical Love Never Dies], “and Andrew has ranked it among the top three productions of his work that he has ever seen. It stands with Evita and the first ever production of Phantom of the Opera.” McFarlane also announced that: “This is the production [of Love Never Dies] which Andrew [Lloyd Webber] wants me to take to the rest of the world”.

It looks like if Andrew Lloyd Webber has his way, than it will be coming to Broadway after all. And let’s face it, Webber usually gets what he wants. All I hope is that it’s the Australia version and not the updated London version of Love Never Dies that is going to transfer to Broadway. I absolutely loved the initial version (read review here), but the updated London version was terrible (read review here).

Evita – Months ago (February to be specific), NYPost’s theatre gossip columnist, Michael Riedel, reported that Evita will be revived in the 2011-2012 Broadway season at a Nederlander Theatre. “The revival, budgeted at $10 million, will be directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford. The producers are Hal Luftig (“Legally Blonde”) and Scott Sanders (“The Color Purple”).” But who’s going to be the stars? Pop star, Ricky Martin as Che Guevara and Elena Roger, who comes from Buenos Aires, will play the title role in this revival, first produced in London in 2006.

The question is, what Nederlander theatre, is going to be free to actually make this revival happen? Currently, all of the Nederlander theatres are totally booked except for the Nederlander Theatre, which might be a very interesting and intimate theatre for a production of Evita. Now, of course, Catch Me If You Can and The Addams Family could close, but based on their numbers (hovering around the 90%), these shows won’t close anytime soon. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is at the lowest capacity of any of the Nederlander shows, but I hope that Priscilla doesn’t close anytime soon and I would hate to see Evita in the gigantic Palace Theatre.

Photo: David Hou

Jesus Christ Superstar – Again, Michael Riedel is reporting that Jesus Christ Superstar is landing on Broadway in Spring 2012: “It’s running at Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival till October. The director is Des McAnuff, who staged the Broadway smash Jersey Boys. Lloyd Webber caught the show in June, just before the Tonys, and has been raving about it ever since. He was planning to produce his own version in London next year and went to Stratford on a whim to see how the show holds up.”

“Now he’s so enamored of McAnuff’s production that he wants it to come to New York, Stratford sources say Lloyd Webber could produce the show himself through his Really Useful Group, but I’m told he’d rather let some Broadway producers shoulder that responsibility. Dodger Productions, which produced Jersey Boys and has a longstanding relationship with McAnuff, is said to be circling. So, too, are the Mirvishes, a powerful theater family — the Shuberts of Canada.”

Interesting, right? I’m still waiting to see a production of Jesus Christ Superstar that I’ve actually liked.

The Wizard of Oz – The West End production of The Wizard of Oz is looking to transfer to Broadway. outlines the details, “The Wizard of Oz currently holds the biggest advance of any show in the West End, and is grossing more on a week-to-week basis than any other show, Kenwright has told “Since we opened, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to get tickets for any of the three weekend performances that always play to capacity; we’ve averaged just below 85 percent in a two-and-a-quarter-thousand-seat theatre, and returned a third of the capitalization just 12 weeks after the opening night. It’s a hit!” The producer also revealed that they are currently in negotiation with “a major star” to take the show to Broadway.”

So who’s going to be the big star? Do you have any ideas? As long as they don’t make it a TV reality series, then I don’t really care. This show would sell for years on Broadway!

What Andrew Lloyd Webber musical are you most excited about? Take the poll.


3 thoughts on “Is Andrew Lloyd Webber Taking Over Broadway This Year?

  1. Love Never Dies: If they can get past its flaws, it would be nice to see this show. It has some beautiful music. Based on what I’ve read it’s going to be a while before it makes it to Broadway, though.

    Evita: Not interested. Boring.

    Jesus Chris Superstar: Not too interested. I know this sounds judgmental and cliche, but as a Christian, I just don’t set right with the show – even if it does have some great music. Not that I would go against anyone’s right to see or produce it. I just can’t morally support it.

    Wizard of Oz: The only reason I’m interested in seeing this is that it has some new songs. Otherwise, been there, done that.

    Phantom of the Opera: I remember the magic of when I first saw the touring production of this when I was in elementary school. Saw it four times then and loved it each time. And I liked the movie OK. And I got used to the movie’s cast. Then I saw the Broadway production twice and it wasn’t that great. I was bored, and I just can’t get over that creepy smiley face that lights up on the angel when the stage blacks out after the Phantom watches Christine sing to her new love. The staging of this show is just laughable. Although the sets are amazing, it isn’t likely that I’ll waste my money on the live show again. Stick with the movie.

  2. The reason that I am looking forward to the “Jesus Christ Superstar” revival is because I read that Brent Carver will be playing Pontius Pilate. I am always shocked that Carver has only done three Broadway shows in his career. After he won the Tony for Best Lead Actor in a Musical in 1993 for playing Molina in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, I thought that he would show up a lot more than he has in the past nearly 20 year period. Maybe there is a personal reason that I am not aware of for why Carver has not been around as much . If that is the case, I apologize for my ignorance and urge everyone to see him if this production does make it to Broadway.

    As far as the “major star” who they claim to be in negotiations with to take “The Wizard of Oz” production to Broadway, I believe that it could be someone like Lea Michele. That is only a guess though (so don’t bash me if you don’t agree).

  3. I think Love never Dies is much potential for this.ALW should bring his Australian version to Broadway because that version is more flawless than the UK one.

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