Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, having started his career with shows like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar. On March 5, 2018 he sat down at Town Hall with Glenn Close (and her adorable dog) so she could ask him so questions about his career and new memoir.
Glenn Close opened the conversation by sharing a little anecdote about when she auditioned for him for Sunset Boulevard. She said he jumped off the couch and said: "She has it in her voice!", which, Close joked, meant that she didn't have it yet. One of the largest topics throughout the evening was Richard Rodgers, who Lloyd Webber has long admired. As a teenager he had written fan-mail to Rodgers and received an invite to the opening night of The Sound of Music.
They also spoke about Harold Prince, who has worked with Lloyd Webber on wonderful musicals such as Evita and The Phantom of the Opera. He spoke a lot about advice Prince had given him and how you need a good story to have a good show - one of the reasons he pursued writing a musical version of School of Rock.
When there were audience questions, one was asked if Lloyd Webber liked to write for sopranos or people with strong chest voices instead. This question was from Meghan Picerno, to which Lloyd Webber was quite taken aback as Meghan Picerno is the lead in the national tour of Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Picerno appeared from the wings, mic in hand. And his response was "What the hell are you doing here?" Later saying "This is a setup!" But the pair did perform the title song from Love Never Dies, and Picerno has quite the voice, bringing a quality of depth to Christine that makes me eager for the tour to be close enough to see. She truly has a standout voice, and clearly enjoyed joining Lloyd Webber on stage for the song. He answered the question shortly after saying "I prefer writing for dogs."
His memoir, Unmasked is available now. Additionally it has been announced that an Andrew Lloyd Webber revue of the same title will premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse this fall.
Click here to buy his book and learn more about Andrew Lloyd Webber.