A lifetime's success in one evening
The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyric Theatre, HKAPA June 8 (until June 19)
Few living composers claim an output of 13 hit musicals plus a classical-styled Requiem like Andrew Lloyd Webber. These achievements of a lifetime were encapsulated in just two hours of familiar title songs and excerpts.
Four pairs of men and women performed solo and in various arrangements, with their voices as good as their appearance. Stage setting was minimal, with two large Broadway-style widescreens synchronising video clips with the songs on stage. Behind them was a live band, including three keyboards doing all the magic in lieu of a full orchestra.
Nearly 30 songs were performed, all of top quality, beginning and ending with Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love. The song sequence was convincing, with great transitions, such as the bouncing five-tune medley from Cats leading to the solitary Memory.
Delia Hannah, who sang the latter, also did Don't Cry for me Argentina. But her natural voice sounded best with a piano in another title song Tell Me on a Sunday. Alinta Chidzey's I Don't Know How to Love Him and Take That Look Off Your Face carried a sweet romantic tone. Trisha Crowe and Kirsten Hobbs turned classical in Pie Jesu from Requiem.
The stained glass backdrop in the screen was enchanting. Crowe's high voice in the climactic Phantom of the Opera was resonant, matched by Michael Cormick in the heartfelt Music of the Night. But her duet with Andrew Conaghan in All I Ask of You offered more kisses than feelings.
Shaun Rennie rocked the hall with an intense solo rendition of Heaven on their Minds. Equally impressive was Blake Bowden's long ending note in 'Til I Hear You Sing from Webber's latest, Love Never Dies.