By CHRIS CAMERON
21st Century Media
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is best known for his musicals: “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats,” “Evita” and “Phantom of the Opera.” “Music of the Night: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber” is a musical review that showcases all of his most recognized songs and a few surprises.
The production is written, directed and choreographed by Andrea McCormick and features a 10-piece orchestra a cast of 15 performers as well as a large youth ensemble. The show’s magical guide takes the audience on a musical journey through Webber’s dream world. In all, the show covers selections from 12 of the composer’s musicals, showcasing his diverse body of work.
A large special effects screen and electronic risers create a unique viewing experience, allowing the design team helmed by McCormick, Michael Smith, and Ryan Dale to transition subtly between sets. Audience members are treated to confetti blasts from above, swinging chandeliers, and even falling money during the performance.
The production opens with “As if We Never Said Goodbye” from 1993’s “Sunset Boulevard,” followed by “I Am Starlight” from “Starlight Express.” During the song, the youth ensemble fills the stage, aglow with neon lights, emulating the futuristic trains from Starlight’s story. “Jacob and Sons,” “Any Dream Will Do,” and “Close Every Door” from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” showcase the cast’s large, talented vocal ensemble and the children’s youth ensemble leads the audience in a sing along during “Any Dream Will Do.”
Act 1 of the production ends with fan favorites “Memory” and “The Jellicle Ball” from “Cats.”
After a short intermission, Act 2 picks up with a grand stage set for three songs from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The title song is performed by longtime AMT resident Wess Cooke, who belts out his vocals before a floor-to-rafters illuminated cross.
The show concludes with special effects and a colorful stage with four of Webber’s hits from “The Phantom of The Opera.” Cast members have fun with the bouncy cheeriness of “Masquerade,” and end, of course, with “Music of the Night.”
Whether you’re a longtime fan of Webber’s musicals or a relative newbie to his songs, “Music of the Night” will leave you humming the tunes long into the night filled with plenty of memories.
IF YOU GO
“Music of the Night: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber” runs until Oct. 11 at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster. Tickets are $32, $27 for members and $16 for children. Visit www.amtshows.com.