Andrew Lloyd Webber Joins Rodgers & Hammerstein in the Broadway History Book

by Michael Eddy
Andrew Lloyd Webber celebrates four hit musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway when Sunset Boulevard opens
Andrew Lloyd Webber celebrates four hit musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway when Sunset Boulevard opens

NEW YORK, NY—Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is now celebrating four hit musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway when Sunset Boulevard opened at the Palace Theatre last Thursday night. Three of Lloyd Webber’s musicals are playing at the Winter Garden (School of Rock – The Musical), Majestic (The Phantom of the Opera) and Neil Simon (CATS) Theatres. Lloyd Webber joins Rodgers and Hammerstein as the only composers in Broadway history to achieve this milestone. 

Further information from (www.alwbroadway.com)

In celebration of Lloyd Webber’s historic achievement, the website www.alwbroadway.com has been launched, allowing fans to easily find information for all four shows. Three-time Tony Award-winner Glenn Close returns to Broadway and her stunning portrayal of Norma Desmond in Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Sunset Boulevard, at Broadway’s Palace Theatre. Based on Billy Wilder’s classic Academy Award-winning film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London’s West End at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. The American premiere was at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, Los Angeles in December 1993 with Close as Norma. The musical was an instant success and played 369 performances before moving to Broadway in 1994 with, what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, at $37.5million.

School of Rock – The Musical is Lloyd Webber’s newest success. Based on the smash hit film, School of Rock opened at the Winter Garden Theatre to rave reviews on Sunday, December 6, 2015. School of Rock – The Musical was nominated for four 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Now in its second year on Broadway, School of Rock recently opened, again to rave reviews, in London’s West End on November 14, 2016. The musical shattered the house record for the third time at the Winter Garden Theatre by grossing $2,022,136.11 for the week ending December 31, 2016.

CATS, the iconic Lloyd Webber musical that became synonymous with NYC and Broadway, returned to the Great White Way on July 31, 2016 at the Neil Simon Theatre. The new production features direction by Trevor Nunn and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne. Since its world premiere, CATS has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages, and has been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide. The first-ever revival of Lloyd Webber’s CATS broke house records at the Neil Simon for a 9-performance week, smashing the record previously set by All The Way, with a $1,723,568.70 gross for the week ending December 31, 2016.

Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by theater legend Harold Prince, is the longest-running show in Broadway history and the best-selling musical of all-time. The New York production opened at The Majestic Theatre on Jan. 26, 1988 and went on to win 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Broadway production celebrated an unprecedented 29 Years on January 26, 2016.  It has played a staggering 12,000 performances (as of November 2016,) been seen by 17 million people, grossing more than $1 billion.  Phantom remains a box office champ and continues to play with no end in sight. The original cast recording, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide, is the best-selling cast recording of all time.