Andrew Lloyd Webber announced today that his latest stage musical, Cinderella, will not open due to a cast member testing positive for COVID-19.
This past weekend, the production was forced to cancel both performances set to take place on July 17, 2021, due to “Covid related precautionary measures.”
In his statement released today, Andrew Lloyd Webber shared, “Today, on this ‘Freedom Day’, I have been forced to take the heart-breaking decision not to open my Cinderella.”
After mentioning rigorous testing utilized with the cast and crew, he (rather tastelessly) mentions that on Saturday “a member of our cast who has a cameo role” tested positive. Imagine how that makes that cast member feel – “It’s your fault and you don’t even have a big part!”
The statement continued, “My sadness for our cast and crew, our loyal audience and the industry I have been fighting for is impossible to put into words.”
On the show’s future, a spokesperson to BroadwayWorld: “It’s hard to see a route forward under the current rules, but we will do everything we can to come back.”
Thinking best thoughts for the entire cast, crew, and creative team.
Indie artists Matt Zarley and Ty Taylor have been friends for over 27 years – ever since they appeared on Broadway in the 1993 revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
In fact, the two talented men were both understudies for the title role.
Taylor and Zarley went on to additional featured appearances on the Great White Way (like Grease and Tommy, respectively) before moving on to successful careers as recording artists as well.
The two had been discussing recording together and they hit on the perfect song for the duo considering their shared experience with Joseph.
“When Ty and I first discussed collaborating on something together, he suggested we do a reimagined version of ‘Close Every Door,’ says Zarley. “We collectively agreed that we should do it with a more acoustic approach, sort of reminiscent of the Indigo Girls and that type of sound. As a result, we settled on just an acoustic guitar and bass as the instrumentation.”
Set in a prison cell, Joseph laments his situation and assures himself he can make it to the other side of his imprisonment.
But the coronavirus pandemic put the project on pause for a few months. When they reconvened for the project, both felt the new world of ‘sheltering at home’ coupled with the homicide of George Floyd had created a new perspective for the song.
Taylor says he looked at issues like “brutality and imprisonment, things that are thrust upon us wrongfully” as he revisited the song. In the video’s introduction, he shares, “It’s fueled with a whole different backstory than I’d ever planned.”
Shot in black and white (see what they did there?), the new guitar-driven track (thank you very much, Mike Messer, on guitar) is infused with a pop/soul flavor that instantly reinvents the song.
Plus, check out the moments at the 2:40 and 4:30 marks as each singer respectfully takes note of the other’s riffs.
Props to Zarley for the creative, current feel on the editing of the video.
Since 2015, Zarley has been producing his “UnCOVERED” series of cover songs requested by fans.
In addition to reimagining pop songs by artists like Sara Bareilles, Sam Smith, Whitney Houston, and George Michael, he’s also explored songs from Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen, Ghost the Musical, and Waitress.
I’m been meaning to post this for a Throwback Thursday post for months, but the Thursdays roll by and…well, I used to be blond.
In any case, many times I get to the end of the day and I don’t want to pay attention to an hour-long story on TV.
So, I fire up the YouTube app on my Apple TV and chill watching videos I’ve ‘favorited’ in the past.
This performance is easily one of my ‘go-to’ videos.
Recorded live at the My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies concert on September 28, 1998, at Carnegie Hall, this trio of world-class Broadway actresses come together beautifully in a mashup of three Andrew Lloyd Webber love songs.
Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, and Tony Award nominees Marin Mazzie (who we lost last year to a long cancer battle) & Judy Kuhn, separately perform “Love Changes Everything,” “Unexpected Song” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” respectively, to stunning effect,
Go ahead and hit play first, then I’ll share a few things.
Now, I wanted to explain why this lands with me so well.
First, what I hear: all three singers have terrific musicianship.
When I listen to this, I hear voices singing to the ends of the phrases. They never kind of ‘peter out.’ They sing – with energy – to the ends of the phrases and cut off with purpose.
Sometimes you’ll hear singers be a bit lazy and hold a note too long. The problem can be the note they hold might clash with the chord structure of the next phrase.
Second, notice how all three actresses stay focused on the stories they’re telling.
Look at their eyes – even when not singing, they never leave the narrative they’re in. Even when they all move downstage at the 5:52 mark, they don’t glance at the other two singers. They are IN it.
And finally, huge props to the arranger (I believe it was David Loud?) who wove these songs into such a gorgeous tapestry. Bonus points for making sure the ladies’ lyrics for backup phrases all still make sense in each of their stories. No one ever sings a word that doesn’t logically fit into their ‘scene.’
The entire concert is well worth watching (the DVD is available on Amazon). The production features a veritable whos-who of Broadway leading ladies including the aforementioned as well as Bebe Neuwirth, Karen Ziemba, Andrea McArdle, Linda Eder, Jennifer Holiday, Priscilla Lopez, Nell Carter, Dorothy Loudon, Rebecca Luker, and Elaine Stritch.