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'Unmasked' musical honoring Andrew Lloyd Webber to premiere at Paper Mill

UPI News Service, 02/18/2018 

"Unmasked," a musical memoir honoring the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber, is to open the Paper Mill Playhouse's 2018-19 season.

Co-created by Richard Curtis and John Doyle, the new production is scheduled for a limited run Sept. 27 through Oct. 28 at the theater in Millburn, N.J.

The show will feature some of the composer's best known music, new material written specifically for the occasion and stories about how Webber has conjured theatrical magic for decades.

It will also see characters from his various musicals mingling for the first time.

"I'm so excited to be involved in Unmasked," Curtis said in a statement.

"We start from the position of having in the show a huge collection of some of the greatest songs ever written for musical theater -- and then learn more about Andrew and his way of working and how the music relates to him and his life. With luck there'll be some very fun new stuff, too. I love Andrew and his work -- in real life, he has always made me laugh -- and in the theater, a lot of his music has made me cry. I'm thrilled to be part of something that I hope will make the audience do both, laugh and cry."

"I'm thrilled to help create this exciting new theater piece celebrating Andrew's remarkable body of work. An event that explores the art behind his melodies, whilst reflecting his somewhat irreverent, self-deprecating sensibility. It's going to be a lot of fun!" Doyle added.

"Unmasked is another amazing opportunity for our theater to introduce a new title to the musical theater canon. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a legend and we are fortunate to be working with him, along with Richard and John, on this incredible project," remarked Mark S. Hoebee, producing artistic director of Paper Mill Playhouse.

Among Webber's musicals are "School of Rock," "Evita," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Cats" and "Jesus Christ Superstar."

His book "Unmasked: A Memoir" is to go on sale March 6.

Curtis is best known for writing "Love Actually" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral," and Doyle's theater credits include "Sweeney Todd" and "The Color Purple."

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