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The Webber Report


Andrew Lloyd Webber's music will be celebrated in honor of his 50th birthday come Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at the Royal Albert Hall.

In addition to a 52 piece orchestra playing Webber's music, many stars will perform including Glen Close, Sarah Brightman, Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, and Donny Osmond among others. The whole celebration will benefit a charity which Lord Webber has been sponsoring for the last several years, the National Youth Music Theater. The children's choir from this organization will also perform along with a company of 40 other performers.

Now, if you would like to attend, and it is open to the public, you can call Albert Hall at 0171-589-8212 for tickets. The price range is anywhere from 25 to 95 British pounds which, if my math is correct, is about $40. to $150. And that's a bargain considering the star line-up and the fact that it's for charity. Airfare not included.

All of this comes just a few months before the re-worked Whistle Down The Wind opens at the Alwych Theater on July 1. Even though the show flopped in previews here in the states and we yanks affectionately refer to it as Jesus Christ Superflop, it is a much anticipated musical. Hopefully, with the reworking, Andrew will have another hit and wouldn't that be a great birthday present to himself? Although I can't attend the birthday bash, I'd be the first in line at the box office when Whistle opens on Broadway!

Tidbits: It's time for that yearly theater crunch. Every house is booked. Even Chita Rivera, whose show Chita and All That Jazz, can't find an empty theater. The show has been on the road for the last six months getting the kinks out with the hopes of landing on Broadway. Isn't the Richard Rogers vacant? Oh no, let's not start that!

The season on Broadway will finally kick into the drama mode shortly with many new plays. The one everyone is talking about is Yasmina Reza's London hit, Art, which will open at the Royale Theater on March 1. The cast includes Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina.

Other dramas or comedies coming include...Honour, starring Jane Alexander, at the Belasco opening April 26...The Judas Kiss with Liam Neeson at the Broadhurst on April 29...Wait Until Dark with Quentin Tarantino, Marisa Tomei and Stephen Lang at the Brooks Atkinson on April 5...Golden Child, a new play by David Henry Hwang, at the Longacre on April 2... The Deep Blue Sea, a 1952 Terence Rattigan play, starring Blythe Danner and Edward Herrmann at the Roundabout on March 26... and finally, at Lincoln Center, O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! starring Debra Monk and Craig T. Nelson on March 18.

The Amy Coleman Band will be the warm-up act for the Steve Schachlin concert at Twirl at eleven P.M. on Feb. 28th. Flamin' Amy is currently in the cast of The Last Session and she's one heckuva performer. She's also got a super sense of humor. After a performance, I jokingly walked up to her and said, "Golly whompers! I thought you were good!" Amy chuckled over my vocabulary. When not performing Amy teaches a technique called "scream singing!" Head on down to Twirl on Saturday night and join Amy, Steve and the cast of The Last Session for a fun night! The show closes on Sunday March 1, however, it's now available for licensing by calling 212-580-9272.

If you're in J&R Music World (where I buy all my computer equipment) you can buy a ticket to 1776 at regular price and get the second for a buck!...Freak, John Leguizamo's show at the Cort, is a hot ticket. The New York Observers says he's "so talented it's scary."

Here's a correction from the last column. I quoted lines from a song by The Kingston Trio, and good friend, William Orr at Hofstra University writes:

V.J.

Shame on you, you old theatre buff, you.

Although we all know it from the Kingston Trio version, "The Merry Minuet" ("They're rioting in Africa...") has words and music by Sheldon Harnick, and it was sung by Orson Bean in John Murray's Almanac in 1953. (Bill)

Who's the OLD theater buff? Couldn't resist, Bill! ;)

See you Thursday!


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