Overture and beginners -- Perseus & Co. -- Some enchanted ruin -- Auntie Vi -- A whiter shade of something that didn't taste very nice in the first place -- "Mr Lloyd Webber, do you like cats?" -- Enter Timothy Miles Bindon Rice -- Teenage operas, pop cantatas -- Elvis with mellotron and tambourines -- Any dream won't do -- "Did Judas Iscariot have God on his side?" -- Love changes everything, but ... -- JCS meets RSO -- Jesus goes to Broadway -- A bad case of the Edward Woodwards -- Suddenly there's a valet -- Syd -- Driverless juggernauts hurtling down a hill -- Eva and Juan -- The long hot summer and the sound of a Paraguayan harp -- The song that cleared the dance floors -- Imogen and Niccolò -- Variations -- Really useful -- Tell me on a Sunday -- "This artfully produced monument to human indecency" -- Shaddap and take that look off your face -- Mr Mackintosh -- "All the characters must be cats" -- Growltiger's last stand -- Body stockings, leg warmers and meat cleavers -- Song and dance, and sleep -- "The most obnoxious form of 'music' ever invented" -- Miss Sarah Brightman -- "Brrrohahaha!!!" -- Requiem -- Epiphany -- "Big change from book" -- Year of the Phantom -- In another part of the West End forest ... -- Mr. Crawford -- "Let your soul take you where you want to be!" -- Playout music.
Andrew Lloyd Webber dominated musical theater in the 1970s and 80s. His hit shows included Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and most recently, School of Rock. Now the composer takes stock of his achievements, the twists of fate and circumstance that brought him both success and disappointment, and the passions that inspire and sustain him. The son of a music professor and a piano teacher, Lloyd Webber reveals his artistic influences, from his idols Rodgers and Hammerstein and the perfection of South Pacific's "Some Enchanted Evening," to the pop and rock music of the 1960s and Puccini's Tosca, to P.G. Wodehouse and T.S. Eliot. Taking us behind the scenes of his productions, he reveals fascinating details about each show, including the rich cast of characters involved with making them, and the creative and logistical challenges and artistic political battles that ensued. Lloyd Webber shares his recollections of the works that have become cultural touchstones: writings songs for a school production that would become his first hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; finding the coterie of performers for his classic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar; developing his first megahit, Evita, which would win seven Tonys Awards, including Best Musical; staking his reputation and fortune on the groundbreaking Cats; and making history with the dazzling The Phantom of the Opera.