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What happens to theater when Andrew Lloyd Webber passes?

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    Boidiva02
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    SO i’m kinda curious about what will happen to theater when Andrew Lloyd Webber passes away. He and the late Stephen Sondheim were responsible for a fairly large percentage of the most popular musicals and are the two that seem to be the most well known creators of musicals. So I’m curious what happens without the two of them creating new content? Will theater just simply lack new content from the two most prolific creators or will there be a new generation of composers/producers creating content?

    Obviously there will still be adaptations and revivals of their work, but is there anybody currently that could potentially reach the same level of fame/popularity or influence that they have? Aside from Lin Manuel-Miranda?

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    Sam Eckmann
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    Are you referring to popular content or influential content? Sondheim is arguably the most influential musical theater composer in the history of the medium. However, not all of his shows were popular, at least at first. Most of the original runs of his musicals were not financial successes on Broadway. Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Company, Passion, Merrily…they may be great musicals but its hard for them to become popularity with mainstream audiences. Webber has had much more luck creating popular fare that has become known worldwide (Cats, Phantom, Evita).

    There will always be composers creating popular musical theater. Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken have been doing it for ages. Kander and Ebb’s Chicago is still running and Cabaret is constantly staged all over the world. As far as a composer becoming as influential on the art of musical theater songwriting as someone like Sondheim…who can say. Lin-Manuel Miranda is probably the person making art right now who is closest to that track, but we have no idea what the rest of his career holds. And who knows what folks like Michael R. Jackson, Toby Marlow, Carner and Gregor, Kitt and Yorkey, Pasek and Paul, Ryan Scott Oliver, etc will create in the years to come. Theater will do what it always does: evolve.

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    GrammyLoser
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    Some people will be very happy…

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    Sean Phillips
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    This at Patti Lupone’s ALW Memorial Pool:

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    adamunc
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    Sondheim hasn’t had anything new on Broadway since 1994 and his only other output has been revisions of his Mizner brothers musical and the unfinished Bunuel score. So there really hasn’t been any new content in the commercial theatre in nearly 30 years from him. Instead, he spent the last couple of decades actively involved in reinterpretations of his existing work.

    ALW had a mild hit with School of Rock in 2015, but other than that he’s had mostly flops since Phantom. Aspects of Love was a dud, Sunset Blvd. ran but still lost money, and Woman in White was a flop. Cinderella failed in London. So he really hasn’t been carrying the popular theater banner since the 1980s.

    The days of people who produce reliable hits one after the other, like R&H or Neil Simon on the straight-play side, are long gone. So when ALW does shuffle off this mortal coil, it won’t really mean anything other than a headline as far as the future of the theater is concerned.

    If you ask me, the biggest current problem is the dire lack of producing know-how. Scott Rudin definitely knew how to go about mounting a show, but that didn’t matter next to his appalling behavior (by all accounts). Cameron Mackintosh was otherwise the last great impresario, and he is in semi-retirment it seems.

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