If you think we have problems…
In London, Andrew Lloyd Webber who functions as a “composer” and “producer” is in hot water. His production of “Cinderella” in the West End will shutter on June 12th. Unfortunately, he forgot to tell the cast.
According to reports from Deadline’s Baz Bamigboye and others, the cast and crew got the news via social media. Apparently, a new cast was coming in, and ALW decided it was too expensive to train them. So he pulled the plug.
According to Bambigboye, even the director didn’t know what was going on. A Brit, Laurence Connor was en route home from Australia when he got a message from Webber that “Cinderella” would close. When Conner landed in the UK he learned that this privileged information was all over the place. Everyone involved knew, and they were furious.
Now there are picketers from London theatre union Equity in front of the Gillian Lynne Theater.
Even with all this bad publicity, Webber plans to bring “Cinderella” to New York next February 2023 for a Tony run. Connor was actually here prior to the Aussie trip to start casting the Broadway version. The man who wrote “Memory” doesn’t think the Broadway press has one, I guess, but this debacle will certainly come up when he gets here.
If you’re asking yourself, isn’t there a famous Rodgers and Hammerstein “Cinderella,” well yes there is. But does that matter to ALW, author of some of the most, uh, music in theater history? No. He thinks we should forget “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and “In My Own Little Corner” and Julie Andrews and all that. In 1965, the TV version, starring Leslie Ann Warren as Cinderella and Stuart Damon as Prince Charming (later the star of “General Hospital”) scored 42.5 million viewers. It was played eight times more in reruns over the next nine years.
But Andrew Lloyd Webber is no Prince Charming. Neither is he Rodgers nor Hammerstein. So keep an eye on this one. Should be a jolly good time when they all arrive in New York next winter.
Here’s Damon and Warren: