Indiana Daily Student

Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber comes to town

Norma Desmond, Joseph, Grizabella, Evita, the Phantom and Christine Daae. \nThese and more captivating characters were created by the influence of one man's music. "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" will bring these characters to life at 8 p.m. tonight at the IU Auditorium.\nLloyd Webber's music has won Grammy, Tony and Academy Awards and enchanted musical theatre audiences around the world for decades. He has written music for more than a dozen hit Broadway shows, including "Cats," "Sunset Boulevard" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."\nBroadway and London's West End have run his musicals continuously for two decades, and in 1997, Lloyd Webber's "Cats" became the longest running musical in Broadway history. According to a press release, there are currently 25 Lloyd Webber shows running in 11 countries around the world.\nBut while many Lloyd Webber productions, such as the Tony-winning "Phantom of the Opera," feature elaborate sets and intricate costumes, "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" takes a simpler approach to the music. Auditorium General Manager Bryan Rives said the show focuses on the music, not the spectacle, of Lloyd Webber's productions.\n"What the audience will see is a concert version of great Broadway songs," Rives said. "There will be a full orchestra onstage, without sets, costumes or the storyline."\nAuditorium Student Manager Jyll Nicholson, a junior, said people might come to the performances expecting these more technical aspects of the show.\n"I think the biggest misconception about this show is that it is short scenes from the musicals, with costumes and sets." Nicholson said. She added that the orchestra plays as important a role as the singers in the production.\nSuch orchestration in 1982 helped Lloyd Webber to become the first composer to have three musicals running in New York and three in London simultaneously. Since that time, he has repeated the achievement during the past two decades, according to \nWhile spectacular sets and costumes heighten the experience of many of these Lloyd Webber productions, Rives said the audience will not be disappointed.\n"This show features all (of Lloyd Webber's) most popular songs," Rives said. "The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber was frequently requested by Auditorium patrons.\n"All the shows are selected by research of subscribers every year," Rives said. "Patrons receive a research instrument to vote, and this show was a very, very popular choice."\nAnd although traditional musical theatre devices will be missing from the concert-like production, audience members will get to experience a wide variety of the best of Lloyd Webber's work. "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" couples well-known productions such as "Evita," a storyline and role made famous onscreen by Madonna, with lesser-known works such as "Whistle Down the Wind," the story of a young girl's search for guidance in 1959 Louisiana.\nAudience members familiar or unfamiliar with Lloyd Webber's music will have the opportunity to enjoy a diverse selection of his work, and experience a production that focuses on the beauty of Lloyd Webber's finest music.\n"The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" plays at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the IU Auditorium. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations.

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