cover image Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Michael Walsh. ABRAMS, $50.9 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-1275-5

There is a fairy-tale quality about this biography, for despite persistent negative reviews and accusations of plagiarism, Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose ability to make money may exceed his talent for making music, has risen to the top with Jesus Christ Superstar , Evita , Cats , Starlight Express and Phantom of the Opera. After Phantom he was earning $12 million a year; at the age of 41 he is one of the wealthiest and most successful composers of all time. Walsh, music critic of Time , analyzes the works and their influence on musical theater in England and the United States, and he also takes a close look at the man--his childhood, his marriages and his difficult relationships with associates, particularly lyricist Tim Rice and directors Hal Prince and Trevor Nunn. Written in a bouncy style and illustrated with color photographs from the musicals, the book is as glitzy as Lloyd Webber's shows. (Dec.)