Monday, June 24, 2024

Broadway: Andrew Lloyd Webber Faces Rare Financial and Criticial Bomb as “Bad Cinderella” Musical Decimated


Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has had hit after hit with “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Evita,” and other musicals that have been incredibly popular despite dreadful reviews.

But with “Bad Cinderella,” his 13th musical, ALW may have met his Waterloo. The new musical opened last night in New York to howls of horrors, the worst reviews of Lloyd-Webber’s career. Ten out of thirteen reviewers panned it on the website including the New York Times. Only review was considered positive.

In the four weeks “Bad Cinderella” has been in previews, the box office has not been very good. The average take has been around $650,000. With scathing reviews, it wouldn’t seem possible to stay open much longer.

“Bad Cinderella” originally played in London as just “Cinderella.” It received scathing reviews there. Lloyd-Webber shut it down in 2021 without much notice, bringing on tons of criticism about how he handled it. He said he regretted the show completely. Then this reconfigured version of it with a new cast was announced for Broadway.

Meanwhile, “Phantom” is getting ready to end its 30 year Broadway run. The show is selling out as hardcore fans, many of whom may not understand English, bid it goodbye.

It’s a bitter moment for the incredibly successful writer of songs like “Memory” and “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” He turned 75 this week but had to miss the New York opening “Bad Cinderella” as his eldest son, Nick, 43, is in hospice in London diagnosed with stomach cancer and pneumonia.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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