NEW YORK — The composer behind such iconic stage stories as “The Phantom of the Opera,” ”Evita” and “Cats” is ready to tell his own.
Andrew Lloyd Webber plans to release his autobiography “Unmasked” on March 6, which loosely coincides with his 70th birthday on March 22. While there have been plenty of books about the composer, this will be the first he’s written.
The book, from HarperCollins, promises to take “stock of his achievements, the twists of fate and circumstance which brought him both success and disappointment, and the passions that inspire and sustain him.”
The book examines his shows and his music and has stories about Elaine Paige, Sarah Brightman, David Frost, Judi Dench, Richard Branson, A.R. Rahman, Mandy Patinkin, Richard Rodgers, Norman Jewison, Milos Forman, Placido Domingo, Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford, Gillian Lynne and Betty Buckley, among others.
In a statement, Lloyd Webber said he has long resisted the urge to write his own story but finally succumbed under pressure from family and friends. “Quite how I have been able to be so verbose about the most boring person I have ever written about eludes me,” he said.
Lloyd Webber is considered one of the most successful composers in musical theater history. Last season on Broadway, he had four shows running concurrently — “Sunset Boulevard,” ”School of Rock,” ”Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera,”
Other musicals he has composed include “Aspects of Love,” ”Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” ”Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Love Never Dies.”
His awards include seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, the Kennedy Center Honor and three Grammys.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits