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Diary: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Frank Sinatra compare piano sizes

Andrew Lloyd Webber Andrew Lloyd Webber. Photo: John Swannell
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There was a buzz in the air at the Other Palace last week. What’s the buzz?, Tabard hears you ask. Well, here goes. Andrew Lloyd Webber was causing a stir as he workshopped a new show that he hopes will tour the US, called Unmasked – A Musical Memoir. Tabard hears it is all done with a lot of humour.

The composer made an appearance at the end of the first public workshop to tell a story of how he once met Frank Sinatra. Lloyd Webber had been staying in the US, and woke in the early hours, jet-lagged, with nothing to do. So he made a trip to the bar at 2am (as you do), whereupon he spotted a small group of people. One of them was Sinatra himself, who beckoned to the barman for what Lloyd Webber assumed would be another drink. Instead, Old Blue Eyes called for a grand piano, which was wheeled over. Sinatra then demanded Lloyd Webber play him something, which he did. And what did he play? “It might have been My Way”, he recalled, as he clambered to pick up the name he’d just dropped.

Lloyd Webber ended his story by calling on the Other Palace’s stage hands to wheel on his own baby grand. At which point a small, electric piano was pushed on to the stage – much to the Lord’s bewilderment. “I knew the budget for the show was small, but I didn’t know it was this small,” he quipped. A composer and a comedian. Who knew?

tabard@thestage.co.uk

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