Saying Andrew Lloyd Webber is synonymous to Broadway is an understatement. He’s an absolute legend and the musical mastermind behind its longest running show, The Phantom of the Opera.
He’s had a hand in a number of other smashes, like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and of course the feline-centric sensation Cats. He’s also no stranger to failure.
With live theater slowly hobbling back to life despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Variety caught up with the 73-year-old to see what he was up to.
One of the more hilarious insights from Webber comes from the revelation that the infamous flop of Cats caused him so much consternation that he decided to get a dog.
“Cats was off-the-scale all wrong,” says Lloyd Webber. “There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”
Webber loves the dog so much he can’t bring himself to travel without it, so he found a way to make sure the dog accompanies him to New York.
“I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” says Lloyd Webber. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats.’ Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.’”
Webber also told the publication he’s working on a brand new musical and he’s meeting with people while he’s in New York working on a remounting of Phantom of the Opera.