Musical About Andrew Lloyd Webber Canceled for Upcoming Season

Posted May 7, 2018 6:55 p.m. EDT

Theater fans interested in the stories behind Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music will have to be satisfied with his memoir “Unmasked,” at least for the time being. The musical of the same name has been canceled for the upcoming season at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

The theater announced on Monday that the biographical musical about Lloyd Webber, originally scheduled to debut on Sept. 27, would be replaced by the “The Color Purple” by Marsha Norman, Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell and Allee Willis.

“We received news last week from our producing partners in London that due to unforeseen scheduling issues, ‘Unmasked’ can no longer be presented as part of our 2018-2019 Paper Mill Playhouse season,” Mark S. Hoebee, the theater’s producing artistic director, said in a statement. He did not explain what the issues were, but added that the company intended to present the musical in a later season.

Created by Richard Curtis and John Doyle, “Unmasked” was set to include some of Lloyd Webber’s most famous songs and a behind-the-scenes look at their creation. New songs by the composer were also planned for inclusion in the show.

Lloyd Webber’s memoir, from which some of the show’s biographical information was going to be drawn, was released on March 6 ahead of his 70th birthday and the broadcast of the NBC documentary “Andrew Lloyd Webber: Tribute To A Superstar.”

“The Color Purple,” a musical based on the novel by Alice Walker, will run from Sept. 26 to Oct. 21. The show’s original Broadway production closed in 2008 after a three-year run; the 2015 revival, which ran for over a year, won two Tony Awards in 2016.

John Doyle will direct the Paper Mill production. Single tickets will be available for sale Aug. 20.