The concert, hosted by Torchwood star and musical veteran John Barrowman, featured songs from Lloyd Webber’s best-loved shows, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. Performers included recent TV casting contestants Lee Mead, Jodie Prenger and Jessie Buckley, as well as more established stars such as Maria Friedman, Elaine Paige and Ruthie Henshall. Original Phantom Michael Crawford also made an appearance, sending a special birthday message via telelink.
Lloyd Webber, who actually turned 60 on 22 March 2008, said in his closing address: \"There is something I would like to say tonight which is thank you to all the people who have helped me in my career. I would like to thank everyone who loves musicals as much as me.” He then promised to “try my best” on his next project, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, and revealed exclusively that it will be titled Love Never Dies (See Today\'s Goss).
TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE PHOTOS FROM ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S BIRTHDAY IN THE PARK, JUST CLICK ON THE \"NEXT >\" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME. PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.
Photographer Dan Wooller was on hand at Hyde Park to capture the performances for Whatsosntage.com. Other soloists included Idina Menzel, Duncan James, teen soprano Hayley Westenra, Steven Balsamo, the composer’s cellist-brother Julian Lloyd Webber, G4’s Jonathan Ansell and Andrew Johnston, the 13-year-old chorister who secured a recording contract after reaching the final of Britain\'s Got Talent, with the 70-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and the 100-strong Crouch End Festival Chorus providing the accompaniment.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday in the Park will be broadcast on the BBC Radio 2 programme Friday Night Is Music Night on 10 October 2008.
- by Theo Bosanquet