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"I'm not the kind to be vindictive,But the fools never learn.
holding some childish grudge.
How could I be? I'm in the spotlight - half of the world, my judge.
All I demand is those I work for, those I give all my skills, all my time and pain,
those that I entertain,
give me the same compassion in return.
—The American, Chess
Not a composer, but his work falls into this category of the rest of a Theater creator, and plus, he deserves his own page. A lyricist/writer/broadcaster, closely associated with, and all too often overshadowed by, with Andrew Lloyd Webber (so much so, that his ex(ish) wife wrote a letter of complaint to the The Daily Telegraph to clarify that the whole concept of Evita was his idea and that Lloyd Webber is given all the credit) but also a critically acclaimed writer of musicals in his own right. He's also a big cricket fan.
He has written the lyrics and book for these musicals. In chronological order:
- Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- Jesus Christ Superstar
- Blondel (with Stephen Oliver)
- Chess (with Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus)
He also did the lyrics for the new songs in the stage version of Beauty and The Beast, as well as all the lyrics for Aida and The Lion King both on screen and stage. Since they recruited a new lyricist to beef up The Little Mermaid for Broadway, it looks unlikely that he will do any more work with them. That said, a lot of critics specifically targeted the new songs as being sub-par, so Disney may ask him back for their next venture.
A winner of three Oscars, all for Best Original Song, but shares them with Alan Menken, Elton John and Lloyd Webber respectively. Only the first one, "A Whole New World" falls squarely into Award Bait territory. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" relies more on the cool chords, orchestrations and lyrics than any Ham and "You Must Love Me" has a depresssing subject matter and a performer who doesn't have the voice for an Award Bait Song anyway.
Apart from writing one new song for the recent Joseph revival, he hasn't got any huge projects underway at the moment. With Aida set to be released as a film in 2010, we may see some fresh material from him then.