So what's your opinion of Andrew Lloyd Webber

I think he wrote two or three good musicals, but the problem is that he wrote them about a dozen times. After a while they all start sounding the same.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

Saturday. Dawn. You may pick your weapon and seconds.
Don’t worry about where. I’ll find YOU.

While I recognize Skald is straight, I’m envisioning a really gay and well choreographed version of the 8 MILE rap battles. With a memorable chorus.

And make it twilight. I have never once been up at dawn on a Saturday unless I hadn’t been to bed, and if that were the case I’d be too drunk or hung over for a fair fight.

Quoth Superfluous Parentheses:

That’s redundant: Anyone who likes (or even knows) real cats is bound to hate Cats. If you read the original poems, it’s clear that T. S. Eliot knew cats very well, but if you watch the show, it’s clear that he’s the only one involved with it who does. Cats dancing? Sure, I can see that (I have seen it done well in other shows, in fact). Cats dancing in unison? Sorry, that’s dogs you’re thinking of there. And the bits he wrote/adapted to hold the whole thing together? The cats are all having a big party where they can vote on who gets to go to heaven? Wha…?

Insipid, boring bombast.

One of my buddies became a big fan and would play Webber constantly. It drove me nuts. I started referring to his musicals as “bombasticals.”

Mostly straight. I reserve the option to change my mind given the opportunity to do Taye Diggs, Mandy Patinkin, and/or what’s-his-name.

A WHAT fight?

I like him. Phantom of the Opera is probably my favorite musical (In fact I just saw it again on Broadway last night!)

I enjoy Jesus Christ Superstar (This version of Gethsemane is absolutely incredible! Apologies for any popping noises in the audio. For some reason those were added when I uploaded the clip.)

I think his music is gorgeous, the troubles come in when he writes with a poor lyricist. A good example of this is the sequel to Phantom currently playing in London, Love Never Dies. I saw the show in July and while the music is great, the lyrics & plot are godawful. Had he had better collaborators, that show could have been really something.

That’s pretty much where I am – I think Webber needed strong lyrics and books to rein in his less disciplined instincts.

Ah, well, Sondheim. But it seems unfair to measure other composers by Sondheim’s standard. Besides, I don’t know why people always compare the two. It’s like those who compare Star Trek vs. Star Wars as if one must swear allegiance to one or the other, and fie on the fools who claim to like both. Personally, I do like both, for different reasons. Sweeney Todd is my favorite musical, bar none – just an astonishing achievement in lyrics, music, black humor, drama, horror and social commentary.

Sondheim does have weaknesses, and there are some songs that are just so uber-Sondheim – so arch, so predictable in their unpredictability if you know what I mean – that they bug me as much as “Gellicle Cats” makes me wanna hurl. But Sondheim’s heights are unparalleled, and Webber doesn’t approach them.

But again: JCS is a very close #3 in my personal musical pantheon (with Sweeney as #1 and West Side Story as a very very close #2), so I must give Webber my loyal and public approbation, though some may call me a Philistine.

(To me, it’s Frank Wildhorn who wears the HACK HACK HACKITY HACK mantle these days.)

May I ask what “so predictable in their unpredictablity” means? Can you specify a song or two that fits that criterion?

I voted “He’s okay” and it’s more because, taken as a whole, he’s ok. He has moments of pure brilliance, and he has moments of utter putrescence. His storytelling leaves a lot to be desired, and his lyricist carries him in some of his most famous works. He tends to rely on big and flashy shows with lots of spectacle or re-using stories with near universal appeal/familiarity(sometimes both). Originality of story isn’t his strong suit. That having been said, if you ask him to craft a strong melodic line, you’ll get one of the best on the planet. A full orchestration with everyone singing at the same time like Masquerade from Phantom? Often ends up a ƒƒƒ mess. Solo things like Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say), or Love Changes Everything, he knocks out of the park.


He’s OK. I like Jesus Christ Superstar (still listen to it since it first came out) and a lot of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Nothing else he’s done since those two have really grabbed me. Plus he gets a few points for crankin’ 'em out for so long and having the occasional success. It can’t be easy.

When I first read the plotI wondered “Sheez, did the actors just make this up as they went along on opening night?” It’s not only hackneyed in places and convoluted in others but it makes no sense. How can Christine and the Phantom have a sonwhen there was nothing in the original to imply they ever did anything like that? Besides which there’s the Advice to Bond Villains: “Just kill him… shoot him, hit him with an axe, whatever, but he needs killing. Don’t try reasoning with him or anything else.” Plus the sequel’s in America- if you don’t want to kill him then hire some Pinkertons or some of the mobs of unemployed immigrants, they’ll take him down I promise you, I don’t care how many little booby traps he has. Girl, ten years later he hasn’t moved on, he’s now officially a deranged and dangerous stalker who needs to die, there’s not anything remotely romantic about him, I don’t care how he dresses or what wonders he’s done with his sewer condo and repurposed goth decor.


That simply cannot be reconciled with PHANTOM, which is explicit in showing that Christine & the Phantom have not had sex.

Well now of course I’m not gonna be able to come up with good examples! By predictable unpredictability I mean, I sometimes get the sense that Sondheim’s being too clever by half when he tries to avoid the obvious musical resolution or transition and ends up taking the piece in a direction that doesn’t quite… work. (At least not for me. I definitely don’t want to put myself up as someone presumptuous enough to second-guess a brilliant musician like Sondheim. Talk about hubris!)

It’s actually not his songs as much as his recitatives that can grate on me – I’m thinking of sections of Into the Woods and Sunday, and what I’ve heard of Passion (which isn’t much, so it’s not fair to judge out of context).

Anyway, Sondheim is frakkin’ awesome and I don’t want to hijack this further. I’m just trying to say that he does have his flaws, but even so, it’s not fair to compare Webber against him. It’s like comparing Puccini to Mozart. Puccini’s music is gorgeous and emotionally captivating, but is he 1/4 the artist that Mozart is? No.

When I first listened to Phantom I even interpreted the line

to mean he was impotent due to the same (accident or birth defect or radiation or WTFever) caused his scars. I had a mini-debate with friends at the time who believed it just meant that because of his ugliness he couldn’t get a woman, though I pointed out that if you read the biographies of most bonafide sideshow ‘freaks’ many if not most of them were married.
Still not sure- your take?

Sampiro, I also took it that the Phantom was impotent, though it can also be read as just that he was too repellent for any woman to have sex with.

That said, I don’t see how to interpet Christine’s lines just before:

Have you gorged yourself at last with your lust for blood?
Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?

As anything other than “Are you about to force yourself on me?”

And the Phantom’s response only makes sense if they’ve never had sex, consensual or non-consensual, before.

Bleh. Not my cuppa. How much of this is a leftover from my adolescent homophobia is hard to say. One of those artists whom, given the reputation, I’m disappointed not to like more.

Oh believe me, that fact was loudly decried by many fans of Phantom when the show was first announced. The answer that they came up with (and I am not making this up. This is actually what is said in the show):

Christine goes to find the Phantom on the night before her wedding to Raoul (after the events of Phantom.) She finds him in hiding (with the help of Mme Giry) and they have sex. Wild passionate sex. Several times. Seriously. It’s in the lyrics. After they are done, later that night the Phantom leaves while Christine is still asleep because he is ashamed. (:confused: ) Christine wakes up, marries Raoul, and 9 months later has little Gustave.

Blech! Horrible horrible!

Plut the timeline of the sequel makes no sense with the years given in the first one, and even though it’s ten years later the Phantom appears to have grown younger!

One reason I never enjoyed Phantom was that Christine was such a silly bitch. “Well, yeah, he did pretend to be an angel sent by my dead father to manipulate me emotionally and he did grab me and kidnap me into a sewer and refuse to release me til I sang for him and he is hideously deformed and he threatens me and he as absolutely no remorse about killing and all, but… there’s just something about him. I wish I knew how to quit him!” Raoul, rich good-looking nobleman who could choose anybody, deserves anything he gets for choosing her.

So she goes to him after he has murdered, in cold blood, Fouquet, Piangi, and however many were killed by his hijinks with chandeliers and various lassos and what not, after he has tried to kill Raoul and forced her to choose between a life as his prisoner or Raoul’s death, and… before she’s about to become a countess to a guy who loves her and can even be seen in public with her and hasn’t left a trail of corpses through the Paris theater district, she goes to see her former murdering kidnapper…

Okay, Raoul needs to flat out Robert Blake that bint.