Crawford singing Webber is stage music at its best

Lou Cedrone

January 08, 1992|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

TICKETS FOR ''The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,'' the concert production that opened last evening at the Lyric Opera House, are scarce. Some are still available for the Sunday matinee performance, but most others have been sold.

This comes as no shock. As concert productions go, this is one of the best you'll ever see at the Lyric. If some shows are lost there, this one certainly is not. If ever a show was meant to play the Lyric, this is it.

Michael Crawford is the star. He has an immense following, something that may surprise those who are not that familiar with stage personalities.

Crawford, at present, is one of the most respected stars in the business, one he has been in for almost three decades. He's done movies and TV, but he is best known for his performance as the ''Phantom of the Opera,'' which he did in London and New York. He'll do the film version when it is made by the Warner Studios.

His voice is surprisingly strong, but then there isn't a weak voice in this ensemble.

Webber, for those who don't know, did the music (with assorted lyricists) for ''Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,'' ''Jesus Christ Superstar,'' ''Evita,'' ''Cats,'' ''Song and Dance,'' ''Starlight Express,'' ''Aspects of Love'' and ''Phantom.''

Crawford does a few ''arias'' from ''Superstar'' and a lot more from ''Phantom.'' After a song or two, he does a bit of patter. It breaks the mood, but he is forgiven. Crawford began, after all, as a comedy actor, and stand-up is easy for him.

Among the Webber songs in the concert are ''Memory'' from ''Cats,'' ''Don't Cry for Me, Argentina'' (''Evita''), ''All I Ask of You'' and ''Music of the Night'' from ''Phantom,'' ''Love Changes Everything'' (''Aspects of Love'') and ''Tell Me on a Sunday'' (''Song and Dance'').

Some of these songs didn't sound that impressive on first hearing. They do now, but the Webber music does that, grows on you, thanks, in this case, to the people who are doing them.

Julie Waldman-Stiel does ''Don't Cry for Me, Argentina,'' Tami Tappan and Gay Willis do ''Pie Jesu'' from ''Requiem,'' Cathy Porter does ''All I Ask of You'' (''Phantom'') with Crawford, Catherine Hyde does ''Think of me'' (''Phantom''), and Janet Metz does ''Memory.'' Not a bad note among them.

There is a 37-piece orchestra, said to be ''the largest ever on a ''Broadway tour,'' and the supporting singers number 12.

Get tickets if you can. ''The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber'' will remain at the Lyric through Sunday.

''The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber''

**** Michael Crawford, supported by a chorus of 12, sings the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

CAST: Michael Crawford, Tom Donoghue, Dale Hensley, Catherine Hyde, Eric Scott Kincaid, Jimmy Lockett, Janet Metz, Cathy Porter, Ray Shell, Tami Tappan, Ty Taylor, Julie Waldman-Stiel, Gay Willis

RUNNING TIME: Two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.

TICKETS: 623-4230

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