Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘Unmasked’ Musical Retrospective Dropped From Theater’s Upcoming Season

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Associated Press

The new Andrew Lloyd Webber bio-musical Unmasked, which had been planned for a September debut at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, has been scuttled, for now.

The regional theater said the Lloyd Webber retrospective musical will be replaced on next season’s schedule by director John Doyle’s Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple. That production will kick off Paper Mill’s 2018-2019 season on September 26. (Unmasked had been set for a September 27 debut).

Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s producing artistic director, said the change was due to “scheduling issues.”

“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,” Hoebee said in a statement Monday. “We look forward to presenting it in a future season.”

Hoebee said The Color Purple “has been on my wish list for a number of years and we are thrilled to produce this masterpiece for our audience.”

Doyle, the Color Purple director, is also a co-creator, with writer-director Richard Curtis (Love, Actually), of Unmasked. Prior to its removal from next season’s lineup, the new musical was billed as “a funny and warm musical portrait drawing from Andrew’s extensive body of work,” with interpretations of his best-loved songs, rediscovered gems and new material. It was to include some of Lloyd Webber’s most recognizable characters interacting with one another for the first time.

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