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Broadway Shockers 2016: Three Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals Play New York at Once

Often viewed as a relic of the '80s and '90s, Lloyd Webber's music has an enduring appeal.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Cats, and Sunset Boulevard.
(© David Gordon)

Is it 1982 again? That was the first year British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber had three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: They were Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Cats. It's an impressive feat of theatrical ubiquity that Lloyd Webber has repeated a number of times, especially in the 1990s: The Phantom of the Opera and Cats both ran throughout the entire decade, so the arrival of a third show (Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, and a revival of Joseph all played Broadway in the '90s) automatically put ALW in the three-show club.

But since the dawning of the new millennium and the shuttering of the original production of Cats, Lloyd Webber was only able to recapture his three-show glory once more, during a brief period in 2012 when revivals of Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar coincided with the never-ending original production of Phantom. That is, until this year, when the revival of everyone's favorite feline spectacular joined School of Rock and Phantom to once again make Andrew Lloyd Webber the most produced composer on Broadway.

In fact, Good Morning America hosted all three productions on December 22 and presented an Andrew Lloyd Webber mashup:

Assuming none of those shows close before February 2 (when the Glenn Close-led revival of Sunset Boulevard begins previews), Lloyd Webber will pass a new milestone by having four Broadway productions running at once. In doing so, he will join an elite circle of artists (Rodgers & Hammerstein had four simultaneous shows in 1953) and solidify his reputation as the most popular Broadway composer of our age. In the time of much-lauded new musicals like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, this throwback to the '80s is perhaps the biggest shocker of them all.

Glenn Close will star as Norma Desmond in the forthcoming Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard.
(© David Gordon)