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Andrew Lloyd Webber: Broadway Cats is ‘homage to Gillian Lynne’

Andrew Lloyd Webber Andrew Lloyd Webber. Photo: Lucy Sewill
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Andrew Lloyd Webber has defended a decision to replace Gillian Lynne as choreographer on the Broadway revival of Cats, claiming the production will be faithful to her original work.

Earlier this month, Lynne told The Stage that she was very angry about a decision to bring in Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler to work on the musical. Press publicity for the show states the choreography will be based on Lynne’s original work.

However, Lloyd Webber told BBC Radio 2’s Elaine Paige show that the musical was not being changed.

“It’s a huge homage to Gillian Lynne,” he said.

The composer added: “It will be very much faithful to Gillian’s work. We are so lucky that the choreographer of the hottest show for years grew up on Cats and wanted to take it to a new level.”

Speaking about Hamilton, Lloyd Webber praised the musical as a great breakthrough for the genre.

He said it had a “genuine new tone of voice” and claimed that it was bringing “a lot of young people back into musical theatre again”.

Lloyd Webber also talked about his new musical, School of Rock, which opens in London later this year and is currently running on Broadway.

He said he was not yet sure whether US star Alex Brightman would come to the UK.

“We have to go through the British field first, and he is pretty important to us in New York,” he said.

He added: “It would be great if he played it at some point, but whether he will open it I don’t know.”

The composer said Sierra Boggess, currently appearing in the New York show, would not be coming to London, because she will be playing Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in Paris.

Lynne previously told The Stage that she was reworking some of the choreography in Phantom for that 30th anniversary production.

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