NEW YORK (AP) – Andrew Lloyd Webber is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of his “Jesus Christ Superstar” album with the lead single from his latest musical “Cinderella”.
The daring song is called “Bad Cinderella” and it will be sung by Carrie Hope Fletcher, who will play the title character in what has been billed as a “complete reinvention of the classic fairytale”.
The single is a portrait of a terrifying woman unaffected by the rules of society: “They call me a wretch / a witch / well, pick one”, the heroine sings. “Any fairytale could certainly use one / Sorry I’m so rude / Sorry you’re so weak / I won’t play your game.”
Lloyd Webber and his cast were ready to start rehearsals in London in the spring, when they – and many theaters around the world – were stopped by the virus pandemic. The wait was frustrating, and he and the cast recorded the cast album at home during the lockdown. He hopes that releasing music will help.
“We couldn’t find any other way to get it out,” the composer said from the bar at the London Palladium on Thursday as he waited for a listening party for the upcoming set of songs. “It’s the only way I can get my music out and present the score.”
Fifty years ago this month, Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, who couldn’t get any theaters to put on a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, changed the order and released a cast album first.
That sparked interest and set Lloyd Webber on a steady course to become a musical and theatrical superstar, with shows like “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” and “Evita.”
“The reason it came out first is because nobody in the world wanted to produce it because they thought it was such a terrible idea,” he said.
“The irony of 50 years later that I had to make another concept album because I couldn’t get my show on stage suddenly didn’t lose me.”
The new musical “Cinderella” features a brand new score by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by David Zippel. Lloyd Webber hopes it opens next spring in the West End at the Gillian Lynne Theater. He already teased it with a social media video of the song ‘Far Too Late’.
During the shutdown, Lloyd Webber was busy on social media – dancing to TikTok, sharing videos on Twitter and creating Spotify playlists – as well as allowing the free streaming of his shows for the benefit of The Actors Fund and other international organizations.
He has also prepared his London theaters for reopening after a pandemic. He owns or co-owns seven West End theaters, including the Gillian Lynne Theater, Her Majesty’s Theater, Theater Royal Drury Lane and the London Palladium.
‘I’ve decided that we’re not actually going to stop. We’re actually going to do essential work and make improvements to the buildings, ”said Lloyd Webber. This included new bathrooms and state-of-the-art ventilation systems.
“I hope that when all theaters reopen, they will be in an incredible state to move forward and try to make some of a virtue out of this whole COVID situation,” he said.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits