Kids rock in Lloyd Webber’s middling School

Jun 28

Kids rock in Lloyd Webber’s middling <i>School</i>

p>What's the primary reason to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock? It's elementary: the kids.

This grand-scale musical adaptation of the 2003 movie hit (screenplay by Mike White, direction by Richard Linklater) makes a lot of sense as far as movie-to-musical projects go because music – and a lot of it – is built right into the story of a baby-man who fakes being a substitute teacher at a private school and turns around the lives of his students by helping them form a rock band.

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Humming the chandelier: Phantom 2.0

Aug 27

Humming the chandelier: <i>Phantom</i> 2.0

Now we have a "new" production of The Phantom of the Opera with a new director and a (mostly) new design team. Just as he did with Les Misèrables, director Laurence Connor has attempted to freshen up what was definitely becoming a stale property (albeit one that remains as popular as ever). For Les Miz he got ride of the iconic turntable, and guess what? He has made a turntable set the centerpiece of his Phantom!

Back in San Francisco as part of the SHN season, this revamped Phantom scores points for (unlike Les Miz) not...

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Oh, meow, or why Cats is still a kick in the jellicles

Apr 30

Oh, meow, or why <i>Cats</i> is still a kick in the jellicles

When they said Cats was "now and forever," they weren't kidding. Not even a little bit.

On May 11, the much beloved (and derided) Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about singing pussycats and tires that lift off to kitty-cat heaven marks the 30th anniversary of its London premiere. Yes, it has been three decades since Mr. Mistoffolees and the Rum Tum Tugger first bounded onto the stage of the New London Theatre in the West End. Elaine Paige was a late-in-the-game replacement for Judi Dench (not yet a dame), who had been injured more than once during rehearsals – first a foot injury, then, juggling crutches, a pitch off a ramp into empty seats. Paige had the distinction of introducing the song "Memory" into the public consciousness, where it has boldly resisted becoming the kind of memory it sings about.

It should not surprise you that Cats is coming back. SHN brings the tour to the Orpheum Theatre May 5-15.

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Review: `The Phantom of the Opera’

Dec 03

John Cudia as the Phantom woos Trista Moldovan with the music of the night in the U.S. touring production of The Phantom of the Opera, which plays through the holidays at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. Photo by Joan Marcus   All I ask of `Phantom’: wishing you were somehow not here again««   Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera...

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SHN/Best of Broadway’s new season

Jun 10

Megan Hilty (left) as Glinda and Eden Espinosa as Elphaba from the original LA company of Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus Old friends, new winners mark 30th anniversary season Carole Shorenstein Hays and Robert Nederlander’s new SHN/Best of Broadway season marks a milestone: 30 years of bringing Broadway to the Bay Area. The new season, announced today, kicks...

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Sir Andrew Lloyd `Idol’

Apr 23

According to “American Idol,” Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is responsible for some of the most “important” musicals of all time. Wow. That’s pretty big. Step aside, Rodgers and Hammerstein. Back of the bus, Stephen Sondheim. The man who brought us Starlight Express and Catsis assuming the position of importance. It’s undeniable that...

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