The ball comes to Broadway
Andrew Lloyd Webber — a Sir, a Lord, a winner of Grammys, Emmys, Oscars, Tonys, Oliviers — was asked to whip up King Charles’ coronation music.
And he’s created such treasures as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Evita,” “School of Rock,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
His newest musical “Bad Cinderella” opens tonight at Broadway’s Imperial.
But he told me: “I won’t be there to see my show. I won’t even be in New York. I’ve been to every single opening of mine on Broadway and on the West End. It’s my only one to ever miss.
“And that’s because the first thing I am is a father.”
In London, on the phone, he spoke of his eldest son, age 43, who is gravely ill.
“I adore Nicholas. He’s been my rock. My anchor. Talented musician, he writes great music. Great sense of humor, great help to me during lockdown when we were doing our ‘Cinderella’ album. He’s now been moved to a nearby hospice. This weekend I keep thinking of him.
“The cancer goes up and down one day to the other. He came through the weekend and I went to see him this morning. Even today, very ill, he still smiled and said, ‘Hope your show goes well.’
“He has a wife. Year-old son. So much to live for.”
A moment, then: “I’ve done my life. I would change places with him if that were possible.
“We all love him. Our whole family’s been together. My wife Madeleine has been so supportive. We’re all together here at home the entire weekend. My three youngest kids [his step-siblings] regard him as their brother.
“I cannot believe what he’s been through — 30 rounds of chemo.”
Creation of “Bad Cinderella” has been a long project, so why didn’t he push back the Broadway opening?
“You can’t. No point. Delay it a week? Nicholas rallies one week then it goes back the next — so you can’t tell when is a good time. He’s very weak. Able to speak but very ill. He’s sedated while I’m there.
“Saturday night, my eldest child went on the critical list. He knows he’s not going anywhere. He’s in his senses, but the condition seems to go its own way and own time.”
About tonight’s “Bad Cinderella” opening, he said only: “I don’t want to speak about that. My place can only be with my son. I can’t change places with him — or I would.”
The show’s beautiful leading lady Linedy Genao — she’s of Dominican heritage — came to my home wearing a red cashmere sweater emblazoned with the words “BAD CINDERELLA.” I was then handed a similar red cashmere sweater only this one had inscribed on it the words “Bad Cindy.”
So, even if neither of us wears them this evening — Linedy’s gown for opening night is an Oscar de la Renta gift — we hope to see you at the Imperial Theatre. Curtain is 6:30. Andrew’s daughter Imogen will do the honors. A
LW’s Broadway friends and collaborators will be out in force to support.
And that’s because Lord Lloyd of Sydmonton’s newest musical — after a run in London’s West End — is going to be opening tonight — only in New York, kids, only in New York.
𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆: nypost.com
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