19 Best Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals

Andrew Lloyd Webber might just be the most influential composer in the history of modern theater. His name is recognizable even to those who aren’t well-versed in musicals, with many of his works embedded in the fabric of pop culture.

From 1965 to the present day, Andrew Lloyd Webber has amassed a collection of over 20 different works. The following are some of his greatest, though they may be known for different reasons. 

The Wizard Of Oz

Just about everybody living in today’s modern world is familiar with The Wizard Of Oz thanks in part to the popularity of the 1939 film. In fact, The Wizard Of Oz is no stranger to the stage, either, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version actually being the 3rd iteration of the story. 

The 2011 version of The Wizard Of Oz is notable for the fact that it marked a return to Webber’s collaborative partnership with Tim Rice after nearly 25 years. This is a combination that produced many of Lloyd Webber’s greatest works, and one name you’ll see mentioned throughout this article. 

While this version does retain the story and much of the music found in the film, there are songs created by Lloyd Webber/Rice added to keep things fresh. What’s also interesting is that the role of Dorothy was actually an award granted to the winner of a TV reality show called Over The Rainbow.

Compared to other recent musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s involvement, The Wizard Of Oz has been performing quite well. In fact, the show is planned to continue running at least through 2024.

The Wizard Of Oz

The Phantom Of The Opera

If there’s 1 musical that everybody associates with the name, Andrew Lloyd Webber, it’s definitely The Phantom Of The Opera. To this day, The Phantom Of The Opera remains one of the most popular musicals of all time.

It cannot be understated how impactful The Phantom Of The Opera has been in the world of theater. The show opened in London in 1986 before moving to Broadway in 1988, where it ran until 2023, with heavy speculation that a revival is forthcoming. 

There simply aren’t many musicals where the original production has run 35 years. In fact, in 2012, The Phantom Of The Opera set the record for most performances at 10,000, which grew to more than 13,000 by its end. 

In terms of everyday society, The Phantom Of The Opera is probably the one that most people have seen. More often than not, it serves as an accessible entry into experiencing the world of musical theater. 

Lloyd Webber’s music in The Phantom Of The Opera is one key ingredient to the overall success of this show. Another is the fact that its dreamy, otherworldly scene settings allow the audience to become fully immersed in the story.

The Phantom Of The Opera

Love Never Dies

If you are an absolute die-hard fan of The Phantom Of The Opera, you’re probably aware of Love Never Dies. The musical debuted in 2010 and serves as a sequel to the beloved 1986 production.

On paper, Love Never Dies should have been a success, just based on the overwhelming success of The Phantom Of The Opera, alone. However, the actual reception upon its opening proved that the show missed its intended mark. 

Critics were not kind and there were even fans who openly protested the show. Despite this, many in the academic field hold Love Never Dies to the same level of mastery that many of Lloyd Webber’s greatest works are considered to have achieved. 

Ultimately, what this means is that every audience member must view the show to form their own opinions. Even in film, sequels rarely perform as well as the original works they follow, but are often reasonable efforts on their own. 

Love Never Dies

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Aside from The Phantom Of The Opera, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of those musicals that everybody is even vaguely familiar with. Chances are, if somebody hasn’t seen the show, they have at least heard its name time and time again.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat came out in the late 1960s and was essentially Andrew Lloyd Webber’s debut as a theatrical composer. This show is also notable for the fact that it was the product of the collaborative partnership between Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. 

Interestingly enough, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat actually became popular after another biblical-influenced musical (which will be mentioned later) became a hit. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would then become somewhat of an underground hit, and would not make its way to Broadway until 1982.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is still extremely popular today. The musical is often selected and performed by school drama departments as well as smaller regional theater companies.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Sunset Boulevard

There are some films that just seem to inspire audiences well beyond the year of its original release. As far as playwrights are concerned, the 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard, seems to be one of those movies.

In fact, even the legendary Stephen Sondheim took a crack at pitching the idea but was met ultimately persuaded to abandon the idea on advice that it wouldn’t hold up as a musical. However, this didn’t seem to affect Andrew Lloyd Webber’s thought process when he was approached about the project in 1976.

Sunset Boulevard would not premiere in London until 1993, but despite apprehensions, the film did actually translate quite well to musical theater. Its story of a fading actress is one that continues to be a Hollywood trope, and it’s this familiarity that allowed Sunset Boulevard to become an international success. 

Since its opening, Sunset Boulevard has enjoyed numerous revivals, with speculative plans surrounding a future film adaptation of Webber’s musical. Fans continue to patiently wait after being milled in nearly 20 years of promising rumors.

Sunset Boulevard

By Jeeves

Were you alive during the early days of the internet, when it was popular to use the search engine, Ask Jeeves? If so, you probably remember Jeeves as being depicted as a butler who would fetch your search queries.

While this iconography is a mainstay of pop culture, many are unaware of the fact that it originates from works written by P.G. Wodehouse. These works are definitely significant, with the mid-1970s seeing a musical production called Jeeves that featured music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Unfortunately, the original production was by no means an even moderate success. In fact, the show was reportedly so bad that it closed its doors after only 1 month in production. 

Such a show probably would never be revisited, but Jeeves did find itself being reinvented in 1996. Whether it was spawned by the early search engine’s popularity remains to be seen.

However, this new version (entitled By Jeeves), ended up being a much more respectable release. It continues to enjoy international revivals on a regular basis. 

By Jeeves

Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar is essentially what put Andrew Lloyd Webber on the map as somebody who moves the needle in musical theater composition. The musical came at a pivotal time when rock music was venturing into the realm of the opera.

Interestingly enough, Jesus Christ Superstar might be the only musical in history that gained admission to a Broadway production by means of a record. The show did not have enough money for a full production, but the record’s success quickly proved that the demand for a show was there. 

Frankly, the idea of the story of Jesus being set to rock music is almost absurd in a comedic way. Religious groups obviously took offense, but this controversy likely only helped in its overwhelming success. 

Jesus Christ Superstar remains one of the most popular musicals of all time, with numerous revivals and 2 film adaptations. It is a work that revolutionized musical theater and introduced many facets that modernized theater beyond the transitionary period that followed the Golden Age of Broadway. 

Jesus Christ Superstar

The Likes Of Us

The collaboration of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber ranks among the legendary alongside the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein. However, the very first musical that the duo worked together on in 1965 wouldn’t see the stage until 2005.

That musical is called, The Likes Of Us, and was prepared for the stage to celebrate the duo’s 40th year of collaboration. It has since remained an underground musical among amateur theater companies, having never seen a Broadway production. 

Are you familiar with the Barnardo charity that has been helping homeless children in the UK since 1866? The Likes Of Us is a dramatization based on the charity’s founder, and how he came to decide that this was his life’s calling. 

This musical follows Barnardo as he discovers some homeless children while walking home after getting kicked out of a bar for fighting. The audience is taken on a journey as he experiences destitution and his highest highs, ultimately finding love and being able to purchase a castle. 

The Likes Of Us

Evita

Evita is a 1978 musical that may not have happened without Tim Rice falling into an informational rabbit hole. After hearing of the Argentinian Eva Perón and recalling a childhood stamp collection he had that featured her, he became obsessed with her life’s story.

Rice became so gripped in respectful reverence that he even named one of his daughters after Perón. Lloyd Webber initially declined Rice’s pitch in favor of Jeeves, but thanks to Rice’s patience, the duo soon after began working on one of the biggest musicals of all time.

Evita takes the audience on a journey through Eva Perón’s life up until her death. The political backdrop of the musical was heightened by Lloyd Webber’s use of different musical influences including styles of rock, classical, ballad, choir, and Latin-rhythm. 

Evita continues to be one of the most popular musicals of all time. Its popularity only increased in 1996 when a film adaptation featuring Madonna and Antonio Banderas was released. 

Evita

Cats

For a period of time, Evita was the top-performing musical, especially in the UK. This would soon be eclipsed by the massively famous musical, Cats, which debuted in 1981.

Before Cats, a musical of such production had not been in existence and prompted musicals to have more of a commercial value. It’s safe to say that Cats is yet another musical that displayed how Andrew Lloyd Webber helped to revolutionize theater in nearly every decade of his career.

Some critics seem to have mixed opinions about the impact that Cats had on musical theater. Many have felt that its commercial aspect eliminates any artistic soul that may have existed when it was first created.

Upon its release, everyone seemed to be in agreement that the production was quite astonishing, especially with regard to its costume design. Today, the story of the Jellicles continues to be a beloved musical that lives on thanks to multiple film adaptations and revivals. 

Cats

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