They only went and did it – classical music and film score loving radio station Classic FM has ranked their top ten Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals. It’s an interesting mix of contemporary and classic – with a few ommissions (notably Starlight Express!).
The composer’s Sunset Boulevard, which is about to open in a new production in the West End, makes the list, as does new piece Cinderella and the household classic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
But the question is – do you agree with the ranking? We’ve added our own poll at the bottom to see how WOS readers’ tastes may differ…
The rankings from Classic FM:
10. Love Never Dies (2010) – we actually love the LND renaissance that seems to be happening right now
9. Aspects of Love (1989) – back in the West End recently, the show has some banging tunes including chart-topper “Love Changes Everything”
8. School of Rock (2015) – based on a film that was already a cult success, Lloyd Webber’s tunes here were decent, complementing the existing movie’s rocking anthems.
7. Cinderella (2021) – Cinderella, rechristened Bad Cinderella, had something of a turbulent experience on stage – but there’s no denying it had some great numbers.
6. Cats (1981) – Its legacy somewhat rocked by a CGI-fest of a movie, but Cats is nothing short of musical theatre bedrock – we’re surprised it didn’t make the top five.
5. Sunset Boulevard (1993) – Now 30 years old, Sunset is back in the West End this month with Nicole Scherzinger – as if we could ever say goodbye!
4. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1972) – To poach another show’s lyric, why not start at the very beginning – with the first collaboration between Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – and now a vital part of any MT child’s upbringing.
3. Evita (1978) – Okay we’re reaching the podium finishes here – the show has some truly iconic tunes (“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”?) and earns its space right up there. Balcony scenes getting their moment back in the spotlight after Romeo and Juliet. A new production comes to Leicester later this year.
2. Jesus Christ Superstar (1971) – First seen on Broadway over half a century ago (!!) – honestly, we’d place this one right at the top if we could – genuinely a pioneer of the rock-opera form that few have accomplished with the same originality since. The show’s back on tour now.
1. The Phantom of the Opera (1986) – Truly one of the greatest mega musicals ever witnessed on stage, the Phantom mask, is for many, the most iconic symbol of theatre to exist. The songs are an embarrassment of riches – so we’re not surprised it’s made the top spot.
And, a second question, what do you think is missing?