Andrew Lloyd Webber plays the hits

It was the reopening night of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, and Andrew Lloyd Webber was DJ-ing the after-party. From a booth...


It was the reopening night of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, and Andrew Lloyd Webber was DJ-ing the after-party.

From a booth built earlier today on 44th Street in Manhattan, Mr. Lloyd Webber, the songwriter, whose career spanned decades and who won four Tonys and an Oscar, mixed music, applauded on the four strokes, waved his hands in the air, and nodded in front of a crowd gathered outside. (He was wearing paprika-colored Beats by Dre headphones for the occasion.)

The party followed the first performance of “Phantom” since the start of the pandemic, which was attended by Laura Linney, Joel Gray, several “The Bachelorette” contestants, some “Real Housewives of New York” and Senator Chuck Schumer.

Outside the theater after the show, crowds of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ enthusiasts – known as ‘phans’ – hoisted their phones to capture the 73-year-old composer playing the role of DJ while costumed members were dancing and lip-syncing on the balcony of the Majestic Theater behind him.

Mr. Lloyd Webber followed the “Phantom” theme with Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out”, perhaps an indirect reference to Mojito, his new black Havanese. The dog, unfortunately, had to stay at home in England with Mr. Lloyd Webber’s two Turkish cats.

“Mojito got his hair cut today,” Lloyd Webber said at a pre-party at Barbetta, an Italian restaurant on 46th Street. “He’s not very happy.

Mr. Lloyd Webber, on the other hand, was enthusiastic about what he jokingly called his “new career” as a DJ, saying the night’s set was just a warm-up before his “big one.” concert in Ibiza “.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s performance as a DJ was unreleased to the point of being incredible, but his daughter Bella Lloyd Webber, who manages his social media accounts, insisted he was doing more than just gambling.

“He mixes”, she said to me while editing a video for the composer’s TikTok relies on his phone behind the DJ booth. “Mix lightly, but mix.”

As he performed a set that included a remix of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” the crowd was mostly speechless and recorded videos.

“I bet no other Broadway songwriter has done this!” cried Madeleine Lloyd Webber, Mr. Webber’s wife, as she danced in the street. “You are watching DJ Webz,” she added, helpfully spelling her husband’s nom de guerre as Lady Gaga’s “Rain On Me” screamed. “We really want her to do one of our shows someday,” she said.

Across the platform, Leah McSweeney from “The Real Housewives of New York City” popped gum and hopped to the music in a leopard print mini dress.

Ms McSweeney, who was accompanied by her mother, Bunny, said during the intermission that the show made her want to go out again. “It’s very sexy,” she said. “The ghost is hot. “

A colleague of the cast of “The Real Housewives”, Luann de Lesseps, was also present on the show.

Inspired by the scenography of the production, she said: “I wish I had so many curtains”, leaving the show.

The crowd outside the theater looked like a gothic-themed ball, with phans dressed in velvet dresses, burgundy and black tuxedos, and full Phantom cosplay.

“The Phantom of the Opera”, adapted from a 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, remains the greatest musical by at least two bars: the oldest on Broadway, the largest orchestra currently on Broadway.

The musical features a love triangle between Christine, an opera ingenuous, her suitor Raoul and the ghost, her mysterious svengali and sometimes kidnapper. While the story is simple – think Persephone meets 42nd Street – the music and costumes are decidedly maximalist.

Phans seeking to mimic the romantic ruffles, lace, and capes of the show have spurred a cottage industry of designers and fabric makers creating garments that mimic specific costumes from the show.

Kara Ritchie, who attended the after-party, bragged that her dress, created by Wenda Lynne Designs, was a facsimile of the dress worn by Christine during the song “The Point of No Return”.

Another participant, Christina DiCillo, who wore a blue dress made by Designer Prima Donna, saw the show for the 38th time. She came with her twin sister, Francesca DiCillo – also in costume – who only saw the show 24 times.

Some members of the public had driven hundreds of kilometers to reopen. Emma Rose Lewis, the recently crowned Miss Clayland 2022, had driven alone from Ohio. She stood by the entrance to the theater, beaming in her belt and tiara, wearing a denim coat fringed with rhinestones.

Trevor Fezza, who wore the iconic mask and black cloak of the Phantom, said he identified with the main character. “He’s misunderstood, but he has a side you love,” he said.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the patron saint of seriousness and enthusiasm, also showed up to the pre-party wearing his own plastic ghost mask. When asked which character he identified with the most on the show, he replied, “These days, I guess the owners of the opera.”

At the pre-party, Mr. Lloyd Webber’s daughter Imogen wore a ghost mask decorated with rhinestones. She said she bought the mask from Etsy, adding, “Don’t tell Cameron,” gesturing to Cameron Mackintosh, the show’s producer, who was chatting nearby with candidate Curtis Sliwa. town hall.

Mr. Lloyd Webber’s set lasted about 30 minutes, but he managed to insert two different remixes of the “Phantom” theme. Then, like the ghost himself, he apparently disappeared from the party.

Mike Borowski, the show’s press secretary and also a DJ on Fire Island, took over, closing his set around 11:30 p.m. with Donna Summer ‘s “Last Dance”.

By midnight traffic had returned to 44th Street and things had apparently returned to normal in the block outside the theater. For those who considered the return of “The Phantom of the Opera” to Broadway as a symbol of New York’s recovery, the return to normalcy actually seemed quite special.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Andrew Lloyd Webber plays the hits
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