Theater Talk: Andrew Lloyd Webber

>>ANNOUNCER: Coming up on…>>WEBBER: It’s a kind of an affectionate look at the whole rock genre. And the wonderful thing about it is that heavy-metal rock is really deeply unfashionable. [ Laughter ] And so the one thing one can say incontrovertibly about this musical is it is the uncoolest show that you could ever go and see.>>ANNOUNCER: “Theater Talk” is made possible in part by… ♪♪>>BOY: ♪ Break the rules, ignore the signs ♪>>GIRL: ♪ And color way outside the line ♪>>BOY 2: ♪ Go off the square, do what you like ♪>>GIRL 2: ♪ If they hate it, they can take a hike ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ And do it just as loudly as you can! ♪>>ALL: ♪ Stick it to the man! ♪>>DEWEY: If you’re feeling angry, then put some of it into your music!>>HASKINS: From New York City, this is “Theater Talk.” I’m Susan Haskins.>>RIEDEL: And I’m Michael Riedel of the New York Post. And I am delighted to be able to talk about a wonderful new musical this season that is not “Hamilton.” I have been looking for the show to back that I think is gonna be a big, big winner. I saw a workshop over the summer. It is a terrific show — “School of Rock,” and it is being produced and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Welcome to “Theater Talk,” Andrew.>>WEBBER: Thank you.>>RIEDEL: And welcome back to Broadway.>>WEBBER: Well, thank you very much.>>RIEDEL: Now, I must confess I went because your daughter Imogen and I are friends. And I went to “School of Rock.” I thought, “Well, I’ll have the game face on, because, you know, she’s my friend.” And you don’t, you know — you don’t know how it’s gonna be — a workshop, all that. And I genuine enthusiastically love the show. It is based on the Jack — uh, Jack Black movie.>>WEBBER: That’s right. Yeah.>>RIEDEL: It manages to be charming and adorable without ever being cloying. [ Laughs ] How do you pull that off when you’ve got kids all over the place?>>WEBBER: In other words, a bit like you.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ] Thank you, Andrew. Thank you very much. But that’s always the sort of danger, right, when you’re doing a show that has lots of kids on it — That it could be just a little too treacly.>>WEBBER: Yeah, I guess so, but, I mean, it isn’t. It’s really so much a story about how music empowers the kids…>>RIEDEL: Yeah.>>WEBBER: …and how it also empowers the Jack Black character. I mean, in a sense, it’s such fun, and it’s a kind of life-enhancing story, in a way, I think.>>RIEDEL: Did you think of it as a musical when you first saw the movie? Or is this something –>>WEBBER: Not really. No, I saw the movie I guess it must have been probably ten years ago now and thought it was great fun. And it had an awful lot of quotes from rock songs in it, if you remember. And then the couple of original songs. And it never really occurred to me. Then, about three years ago, somebody said, “Look, why don’t you think about maybe producing it?” And this is a sort of another version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I mean, it’s something schools could do.>>RIEDEL: Which is something you wrote for a school originally, if I’m not mistaken.>>WEBBER: That’s right. Yes. It was originally written for a school. And I thought, “Yes, it could well be something that could be fun for schools to do.” And I originally thought, “Well, maybe it’s one of those things — put it together, maybe use lots of other songs in it and all of that.” And then when I got into it, I realized that, actually, there were only two complete songs in the original movie, and everything else is, like, tiny fragments.>>RIEDEL: Right.>>WEBBER: And none of them worked, really — would work dramatically. And so I found myself getting ensnared into doing the score myself.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ] But going back to your rock ‘n’ roll roots.>>WEBBER: Well, fun, yeah, for me, because, I mean, it sort of is a bit like “Joseph” in a way because of the — sort of the joy of it. ‘Cause it has no side. That’s the thing. It has absolutely no side. What you see is what you get.>>RIEDEL: Right.>>WEBBER: And I think that’s why it is, hopefully, not cloying at all. But it’s a kind of an affectionate look at the whole rock genre. And the wonderful thing about it is that heavy-metal rock is really deeply unfashionable. [ Laughter ] And so the one thing one can say incontrovertibly about this musical is it is the uncoolest show that you could ever go and see. [ Laughter ] And so, I think it’s just fun. It’s slightly me letting my hair down and going back to the days, I mean, when we did “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I mean, people don’t really remember me in that kind of way, but next door in the studio was Zeppelin, you know? I mean, Jimmy Page and all that lot were a little bit older than Tim Rice and I, but — and we were all greatly in awe of them. But the Stones worked in Olympic Sound, where we were. I mean, all of those bands were there. And, I mean, we had — on “Superstar,” we had the lead singer of Deep Purple, so all of that…>>RIEDEL: [ Laughing ] That’s right.>>WEBBER: …all of that sort of rock, you know, and everything. And the moment where Jesus is throwing the moneylenders out of the temple in “Superstar” is pure, pure heavy metal.>>RIEDEL: And people think, of course, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is a famous musical, but I remember talking to Tim that you guys — It wasn’t in your mind to be a musical. It was an album. It was a rock album.>>WEBBER: Well, yeah. I mean, what happened was is that we — we’d written “Joseph,” and a lot of people said, “Why don’t you then take the story of Jesus Christ?” And, in fact, what made Tim want to write it was the thought that we could do it from Judas Iscariot’s point of view. And so, therefore, immediately, it took on a kind of slightly political tone because it’s really about Judas saying to Jesus, “Look, if this movement gets out of hand any further, then Rome will crush us.” And it’s the relationship between the two men. And we did try — I mean, we did talk about getting it produced in the theater, but no one was interested at all. And what happened is we had the original song, which became “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It came out as a single with Murray Head in various countries of the world, including America and Britain, where it flopped resoundingly. But in one or two curious countries — I don’t know quite why — it took off in a major way, like Australia and Brazil. It took off in Holland, and it was enough for the record company to say, “Do you know what?” Uh, this piece that they seem to want to do — There was one guy at the record company who said, “We’ll put up the money to record it.” Well, of course, we had to think of the piece as something that would work if you only heard it.>>RIEDEL: On a record.>>WEBBER: So, I’ll be honest about it. Superstar works, at its best, when it’s in a rock arena and it’s done as a rock concert.>>HASKINS: Mm.>>WEBBER: Staged — I mean, a staged rock concert. There’s been one just recently in Britain and in Australia, which was wonderful. I mean, it is a staged concert. But I don’t think it works so well in a conventional theater, ’cause somehow, it gets straitjacketed.>>RIEDEL: Hmm.>>WEBBER: I often wonder what would have happened had it been — had it sort of tried out in the normal way. Probably we’d never hear of it today. Somebody would have probably said, “Well, we need 36 bars to change the set here.” And the whole energy of the whole thing would have gone out the window.>>RIEDEL: Right. Going back to “School of Rock,” ’cause I really love the score, albeit a proper rock ‘n’ roll score, but what I was curious about, when you look at the credits — Andrew Lloyd Webber. We do know that you write rock music. Glenn Slater, your lyricist — You’re written before. Julian Fellowes.>>WEBBER: Ah, yes.>>RIEDEL: Now, Julian Fellowes, one thinks of, of course, as “Downton Abbey” and “Mary Poppins.” I know he’s worked on musicals before — and also an actor who I remember appearing in “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Remember Julian’s brief acting days? How does Julian Fellowes come to be the book writer for “School of Rock?”>>WEBBER: Well, I’ve know Julian for quite a long time, and he’s a very skilled craftsman. I mean, one of the great things about Julian — and if you look at something like a “Downton Abbey” and everything — is that he’s brilliant with story lines that all interconnect. And I felt, with “School of Rock,” that, first, we needed that, because, you know, we are taking a film. And if you’re taking a film to the theater, you’ve got to rework it as a theatrical experience that we’re giving. We’re not trying to faithfully reproduce the film. We’re trying to keep the spirit of the film, of course, but you can’t absolutely –>>RIEDEL: It’s got to be a musical.>>WEBBER: It’s got to be its own thing.>>RIEDEL: Yeah.>>WEBBER: And Julian is very, very clever at all of that — with story lines, children’s backstories, their relationships, all those sort of things. But the funny thing is, is, like, you know, I mean, Julian has a rock ‘n’ roll past, as well.>>RIEDEL: Really?>>WEBBER: It may not be evident in “Downton Abbey,” but…>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ]>>WEBBER: But he’s a writer. You know? And a writer can — can adapt to anything. He completely identifies with the characters in there. He’s done a very clever job.>>HASKINS: Am I correct that the original movie was based on the — based on Jack Black?>>WEBBER: Oh, yes. I think — I think it’s pretty much Jack Black and Mike White’s baby. Yes. I mean, but I think that the interesting thing about it is that, whether it was intentional or not, but they kind of hit on one of those primal tales.>>HASKINS: Yes, they did.>>WEBBER: I mean, that’s what it is. And it’s a very strong central idea. And when you’ve got a strong central idea, then you do need a dramatist. I mean, you all know. I mean, we all know that the dramatic construction of a musical is the vital thing.>>RIEDEL: Right.>>WEBBER: I mean, you know, if you got a musical that doesn’t really work, construction-wise, as a story, you could have written “Some Enchanted Evening,” and nobody will ever remember it because it’s just one of those things. And I know, through numerous shows where the construction of the show’s not been right, that things, you know, get buried and lost. So, it’s really vital to have somebody there who knows how to fashion and craft a story, and particularly with something like this, where there’s a lot more script. I mean, look, this is — this is slightly off-duty me.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ]>>WEBBER: You know? Because I’ve just had a lot of fun, and I make no claims for this whatsoever as anything other than a bit of fun. But there’s a lot more dialogue than there is in most of my shows.>>RIEDEL: Right. I’ve also noticed — because in the past, where you’ve seen anything, “Andrew Lloyd Webber presents” — the big Andrew Lloyd Webber, the name bigger than the title. But you have deliberately, it seems to me, kept yourself sort of below the title, if you will. It’s not “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock.”>>WEBBER: What I feel — I’m sort of steering it — you know, the work of somebody else, in a way. I mean, it’s — it is still the Mike White movie. I mean, it’s what he wrote, and hopefully, we’ve been very, very true to that. And I don’t want people to sort of think that this is a great, you know — it’s some great, huge new thing by me. It’s just me having a lot of fun and doing something that I really actually care about, which is doing something for these kids. I mean, music in education is a vital, vital thing, and these days, where the people cut back on the arts, certainly back in Britain, they have been, and I know similar things have been happening in schools here. People forget how important music is. I mean, I’ve been involved with a scheme in Britain where we have — we took a school. I got involved with a school which was, I mean, frankly, off the radar. It was a sink school. It was — What you would call a public school, but in a very, very deprived area. 46 different languages spoken in the school. And it was literally going to be closed. And they did this experiment which was that every child arriving in the particular year where the experiment was conducted was given a free violin. And in many cases, it was the first thing these children ever owned. For a week, they were taught how to play the violin. And from then onwards, music, in some form, became part of the curriculum. And the consequence was that everything to do with math improved, everything to do with understanding language, with — I mean, it was — it was extraordinary. Last year, they got their first place at Oxford University.>>HASKINS: Ah.>>WEBBER: And the school is now, you know, I mean, totally reversed. And we’ve been trying that now, and I now have 3,000 kids who have been given free instruments and this, that, and the other.>>RIEDEL: And you provide the instruments?>>WEBBER: I provide them, and we provide music tuition, now, for them through their entire school life. And, I mean, it is so rewarding, because you see what happens. This is not to try to turn them into musicians. It is not to try and make them professional musicians, but — but it — you know, it’s not for nothing, really, that in certain areas, music is banned because people don’t like the good effects that music can have. I mean, you can think of, you know, certain organizations around the world who do specialize in making sure that music is nowhere a part of it. So, “School of Rock,” for me, is really — I mean, one of the reasons I’ve — I very much want it to go immediately — We’ve sort of set it to schools and colleges here. And it’s because I want it to be performed by schools.>>RIEDEL: Mm-hmm.>>WEBBER: I think it’s important. You know? That’s the new generation who may or may not find what we love as theater nuts, but they — they may or may not.>>RIEDEL: Music can lead them somewhere else.>>WEBBER: But it can lead them in all so many ways to empower people. And that’s all I really want from “School of Rock” is that it just entertains and brings kids to music.>>RIEDEL: One of the things I like so much about the workshop that I saw over the summer was you haven’t cast kids who are professional actors, if you will. You found kids who play instruments in their school.>>WEBBER: Yes, yes. We saw — I did not personally see — 22,000 children.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ]>>WEBBER: But I did see the last sort of 30 of them. And they have to be able to play. [ Rock music plays ]>>RIEDEL: They really play the instruments in the show.>>WEBBER: They really, really have to play. Yes. I mean, otherwise, I mean, the whole thing’s pointless. You can’t have some sort of old guitarist in the pit, you know, trying to — You can’t. I mean, you just — You can’t. So, the whole joy of it is that they play.>>RIEDEL: I mean, I remember hearing the story of a little girl, I’ve forgotten her name — adorable. I think she came and she played one instrument, and you had already cast it. And you said, “Can you play the bass?”>>WEBBER: Oh, that’s right. Yes.>>RIEDEL: What was that story?>>WEBBER: Oh, yes. There’s a girl who plays Kate. She came in, and she played the guitar. But she looked so perfect for the bass. We just said, “Could you learn the bass?” Well, she came back a few days later having learned the bass.>>RIEDEL: Mm-hmm.>>WEBBER: And she’s now our bass player.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ]>>WEBBER: I mean…>>RIEDEL: [ Laughing ] And the bass is three times the size of her.>>WEBBER: Yes.>>RIEDEL: It’s adorable. In your own history, your own background — Music, of course, absolutely essential to you ’cause your father was a, uh — was a musician.>>WEBBER: Yes. I mean, I was lucky as I grew up in a background where all kinds of music happened. I mean, it wasn’t — I mean, there was rock, you know, in my case and theater music in my case, but there was everything, because my father was the boss of the London College of Music.>>RIEDEL: Right.>>WEBBER: And so we’d just — It was around the house all the time. And it was a mental place, and there was a guy who my mother rather befriended who was a bit older than me who won the Tchaikovsky competition eventually as a pianist. And he –>>RIEDEL: And your brother is a classical cellist.>>WEBBER: Yeah, my brother was a classic– So, I was turning the pages for this guy, you know, when he was learning Prokofiev and all these things. It all was all sort of — There was never any barrier between any type of music. Nothing was ever in a box in our home. I mean, if I brought home a great rock record — I remember my father once saying — There was a band in Britain called The Shadows. They weren’t big here, but they were — I remember him saying — my father saying, “I think that they’re probably the best quartet working around at the moment.” You know? I mean, he had a very eclectic view.>>RIEDEL: So, he wasn’t a snob about music.>>WEBBER: No. And he snuck me in, when I was seven years old, to a film which was — you’re not supposed to have seen in Britain — at that time, I think you had to be 14 or 16, which was “Jailhouse Rock.” [ Laughter ] So, I saw, sort of, Elvis in “Jailhouse Rock” back to back with my love — I don’t know, really, where I got it from, but, I mean, I was always in love with musicals. So, I saw things like “Jailhouse Rock” as “Oh, that’s just another musical.” I never — ‘Cause half the time, in Britain, you see, the time when I was a boy, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals had happened, with the exception of “The Sound of Music,” which, of course, was sort of, pretty much my time. But all of the older ones — “Oklahoma!” and these — had gone. So, of course, my experience of all of this was through film.>>RIEDEL: Right, the movies — the Hollywood movie versions.>>WEBBER: Yeah.>>RIEDEL: I got the sense in reading about your background and talking to Tim — ’cause Tim lived in your house, right?>>WEBBER: Yes, he did. Yes.>>RIEDEL: It was a very bohemian household, wasn’t it? People just sort of floating through.>>WEBBER: It was extremely bohemian. I mean, there was my brother playing the cello, there was my father who had an electronic organ ’cause he was an organist, as well, playing hymns, there was John Lill playing the piano, there was me with my rock, you know? All of this. My brother was playing the cello one day particularly loudly, and he was — I can’t remember exactly. I think he was doing — I think he was learning the Shostakovich cello concerto. And, anyway, Tim Rice and I went down the staircase to the flat below, and the doorway opened as Julian was playing his cello up there, and the guy said, “You know, I don’t mind the piano. I don’t even mind that rock stuff, but it’s the oboe player I can’t stand.” [ Laughter ]>>RIEDEL: Where did your mother fit in to this whole world?>>WEBBER: Well, she was a sort of deeply socialist sort of woman who used to go — And that’s another thing I suppose rubbed off on me. She used to go down to the East End of London, and that’s where she discovered John Lill, the pianist.>>RIEDEL: Oh, yeah.>>WEBBER: And she used to teach kids, you know, free on Saturday afternoons, music.>>RIEDEL: Oh, so, your mother was a musician, too.>>WEBBER: Yeah. She was a music teacher.>>RIEDEL: Oh.>>WEBBER: And she was a very good piano teacher. Not with me. I have to say that little rubbed off. [ Laughter ]>>RIEDEL: Are you a good pia– Do you consider yourself –>>WEBBER: No. I can play well enough for my own music, but I’m not a great pianist.>>RIEDEL: [ Laughs ] Interesting. Did your parents live long enough to see your — your success?>>WEBBER: Yes. Yes.>>RIEDEL: The big hits?>>WEBBER: Yes, I’m — My father died in 1983, but he saw “Cats” here. So, he did come to Broadway for that. And that was the last one he saw. It was quite interesting, ’cause he was — he was quite a high romantic, and he loved all his Rachmaninoff and all those things. And I would have loved to have known what he would have made of “Phantom of the Opera,” quite honestly.>>RIEDEL: Which is your romantic musical.>>WEBBER: Well, which was my big, you know, romance, yes.>>RIEDEL: I did want to ask you about “Phantom,” because I went to a screening of the Lon Chaney movie.>>WEBBER: Oh, yeah.>>RIEDEL: In the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights, which is one of these grand old movie palaces from the –>>WEBBER: Yes. I know it. Yes.>>RIEDEL: Yeah. Beautiful.>>WEBBER: Yeah.>>RIEDEL: And it was a new print of “The Phantom of the Opera.” And there were a couple of cast members from your show who sang a song afterward. And what I was struck by was that, until your version of “The Phantom of the Opera,” I always thought of it as a horror movie.>>WEBBER: Yes.>>RIEDEL: Lon Chaney is a scary ghoul.>>WEBBER: Yes. So did I. I mean, in fact, what happened was, when I was engaged to Sarah Brightman, she was offered the role of Christine in a version of it that was going to be done at Joan Littlewood’s theater in the Theatre Royal Stratford East. It was going to try out in Newcastle, and it was going to be — It was written by a guy called Ken Hill, who’s dead now, sadly. And it was — It was a sort of joke-y script. It was a sort of half horror movie, half — I mean, dare I say “Rocky Horror Show,” really.>>RIEDEL: Yeah, with a camp element.>>WEBBER: Yeah, it was a bit like that. And they were going to use real opera, and I-I — I mean, I said to Sarah, “Well, you could do it for fun, you know?” But it never occurred to me that it was anything remotely for me. But then Cameron Mackintosh and I thought, “Do you know what? It might be quite fun if we got involved with it and we just maybe produced it together and did it, you know, as a fun piece, you know?” And that was the end of that. But because of “The Rocky Horror Show” ingredient of it, we got in touch with Jim Sharman, who directed “The Rocky Horror Show,” ’cause Jim Sharman had directed the Australian and London version of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” And Jim said to me — He said, “Well, you should do it.” I said, “You got to be joking.” So, end of story. A year later, I was in New York, and I was doing nothing in the afternoon. Well, actually, I was going to go to the Tony Award — pre-Tony Award thing for the nominees…>>RIEDEL: Right.>>WEBBER: …for a musical that I can’t remember which one it was, but one which was definitely no way I could possibly ever win. And I was thinking, “Oh…” So, and as I’m walking down Fifth Avenue, there’s one of those book stores, and I saw “The Phantom of the Opera.” And I thought, “I’m not doing anything.” So, I read the book in the afternoon. And as it happened, at the Tony Award thing, I ran into Hal Prince, who I hadn’t seen for a long time. And Hal was there for a musical that was definitely not gonna win anything, either.>>RIEDEL: I remember, like, “Grind.” The year of “Grind” or something.>>WEBBER: It might have been. Or “A Doll’s Life” or one of those things.>>RIEDEL: [ Chuckling ] Yes.>>WEBBER: And, I mean, it was something of mine that was definitely not gonna happen. And so, we went and had a drink afterwards, and I said, “I’ve just read this book called ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ And it’s completely different to what I thought it was.” ‘Cause it’s very confused, the book. I mean, it can’t make its mind up whether it is a horror story or a detective story or a romance — or high romance. And the last line of it is that when the Phantom’s body was apparently exhumed or something, that on his finger was discovered Christine’s ring.>>HASKINS: Mm.>>WEBBER: I thought, “Ooh. Hang on.” So, Hal said, “Well, why don’t you have a crack at doing it?” And I said, “Hal, you know, you don’t do high romance.” He said, “I think it’s time I did high romance.” And I said, “Well, I think it’s time I did high romance. So, I’ll have a crack at it and see what happens.” And that’s exactly what happened.>>RIEDEL: Now, on “School of Rock,” you — I thought it worked so well in the Gramercy Theater, which is smaller. Do you ever worry, when you take something that is rather an intimate show, and you’ve got to move it to a big Broadway theater, that –>>WEBBER: Well, it’s always the big –>>RIEDEL: That’s always the problem.>>WEBBER: Always the problem. I mean, one of the things, as we all know, is that, very often, a show will work in a small space, and you think it’s kind of the best thing you’ve ever seen. And then it goes into the bigger space, and it — it doesn’t work for some reason. I mean, all — I’ll know, sort of, when we preview on Monday.>>RIEDEL: But how do you –>>HASKINS: What theater are you in?>>RIEDEL: The Winter Garden.>>WEBBER: We’re in the Winter Garden, and –>>RIEDEL: You’ve had a little success there before.>>WEBBER: Well, the thing about the Winter Garden is that, yes, like, it’s a big Broadway theater. But one of the reasons I was very pleased and thought that it would be the right one for us when it was offered is because “Cats” had the similar problem. And, I mean, we’ve obviously got children, and it’s the question of the intimacy and the relation of the house with the children. And although it’s a big house, you can come forward because of the odd shape of the Winter Garden.>>RIEDEL: It used to be a horse ring.>>WEBBER: That’s right. It was an auction house, wasn’t it, for horses. I mean, we don’t come much forward, but you can have much more contact with the audience there, because of the shape of the building, than you can in quite a few. And so, that was a really powerful reason for going to the Winter Garden. But having said that, yes, it’s got a big design. It has to.>>RIEDEL: We have to wrap it up, but I’m just curious. What is the — What is Andrew Lloyd Webber listening to at the very first paid performance of his new show? Are you at the back of the house? What are you — What are you watching?>>WEBBER: See, I’ve got another role here, obviously, being the producer, as well. And one of the things, actually, this is the first time I’ve ever produced anything on Broadway and certainly the first time I’ve ever produced anything original, you know, starting here. One of the things that I always take away from Hal Prince is something he told me when I was a very young man, long before we worked on “Evita,” which he said, “Andrew, you can’t listen to music if you can’t look at it.”>>RIEDEL: “You can’t listen to –“>>WEBBER: “You can’t listen to music if you can’t look at it.” What he meant was if the stage picture was wrong, that psychologically, you can’t take it in. So, one of the things I’m looking at right now is — is does it look right. I mean, it doesn’t have to look expensive. I’m not saying that.>>RIEDEL: Right. Right.>>WEBBER: It’s got to look right. And I’ve been bitten by that with design. I mean, I’ll be frank. The London production of my “Phantom” sequel, “Love Never Dies,” was — didn’t work. A lot of it is because it didn’t really happen as a production. And the Australian production, which is hopefully now gonna come here in some guise –>>RIEDEL: Which I saw in a film version, which was very good.>>WEBBER: Well, it is very good, but the — and the reason is, is that the production fits it. Going back to “Chicago,” do you remember the original production of “Chicago?”>>RIEDEL: I’m a bit young for that.>>WEBBER: Well…>>RIEDEL: The Fosse one.>>WEBBER: Which I did see. And it sort of didn’t quite work. But given the other — you know, the production which then became, you know, the one that went ’round the world out of the revival, that was totally different.>>RIEDEL: Yeah.>>WEBBER: And it worked because it was right for it.>>RIEDEL: Yeah. I always thought one of my favorite scores of yours is “Sunset Boulevard,” but that Broadway production, while beautiful — Trevor’s production — It almost seemed too big for what is essentially a very intimate story, a triangle.>>WEBBER: Yes, I mean, it’s been done — been done now many — Glenn Close is doing it in London at the English National Opera, which will be very interesting to see. And I think — I think it’ll probably get filmed now, which is exciting. But, yes, I mean — Again, I mean, that’s now been done in many other different ways now. And I-I-I take your point. I mean, there were elements of that production that really did work, and there were one or two that, I think, perhaps, you know, today, one could do differently.>>RIEDEL: Yeah.>>WEBBER: Particularly because you can — With the car chase, for example, you can use projection in a different way.>>RIEDEL: Right. All right. The new Andrew Lloyd Webber show with Glenn Slater, the lyricist, and Julian Fellowes, the book writer, is “School of Rock.” About to open — or maybe has opened when this airs — at the Winter Garden Theatre. We wish you the best of luck with “School of Rock,” Andrew.>>WEBBER: Thank you very much.>>RIEDEL: Thanks for being our guest tonight on “Theater Talk.”>>WEBBER: Thank you.>>DEWEY: ♪ Now repeat after me ♪ ♪ I pledge allegiance to the band ♪>>ALL: ♪ I pledge allegiance to the band ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ And I promise to give Mr. Schneebly full command ♪>>ALL: ♪ And I promise to give Mr. Schneebly full command ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ And to be in control of the band as a whole ♪ ♪ We will rock and we’ll roll with our heart and our soul ♪ ♪ If you’re in, raise your hand ♪>>GIRL: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>BOY: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>GIRL 2: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>BOY 2: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>BOTH: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>BOY 3: ♪ I’m in the band ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ Yes, you’re in the band ♪>>ALL: ♪ We’re in the band ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ You’re in the band ♪>>ALL: ♪ We’re in the band ♪>>DEWEY: ♪ You’re in the band ♪ ♪♪>>ANNOUNCER: Our thanks to the Friends of “Theater Talk” for their significant contribution to this production.>>ANNOUNCER: We welcome your questions or comments for “Theater Talk.” Thank you.


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