Act Two for London's Olivier Awards and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Why has it taken so long? London's equivalent of the Tonys, the Olivier Awards, will finally be treated like the Tonys, getting full media hoopla when doled out on March 13. The ceremony is being moved from the Grosvenor House Hotel to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it will be telecast for the first time by the BBC. It will even get a red-carpet TV show. Finally, it has major corporate sponsorship: MasterCard.
All of this is perfect timing for poor Andrew Lloyd Webber, who once ruled the Oliviers but who has been ridiculed for numerous flops ever since ("Whistle Down the Wind," "The Beautiful Game," "The Woman in White"). Back in his glory days, his shows won best new musical three times -- "Evita" (1978), "Cats" (1981), "Phantom of the Opera" (1986) –- but he's struck out repeatedly over the last 25 years. His latest show, the "Phantom" sequel "Love Never Dies," received poor reviews when it opened last March, but he shut it down in November, retooled it and reopened it, and now it leads with the most Olivier Award nominations -- seven, including best new musical.
See the full list of nominations here.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo credit: Adelphi Theatre