Andrew Lloyd Webber: Masterpiece [2002]

Elaine Paige headlines the international cast of Masterpiece: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, a September 2001 concert in Beijing. Paige sings songs from her roles in Lloyd Webber's musicals Evita, Cats, and Sunset Boulevard, while Kris Phillips, Sandy Lam, Tony Vincent, and others provide solid but rarely thrilling renditions of tunes from such shows as Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera. There are also orchestral numbers and some dances, but not much staging or costumes--whether performing "Macavity" or "Masquerade," the dance team members look like refugees from Sweet Charity. The obvious comparison is with Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Royal Albert Hall Celebration. Filmed three years later, Masterpiece includes more from The Beautiful Game and it's a technically superior DVD with DTS sound and an anamorphic widescreen picture. Royal Albert Hall, however, has bigger stars and better performances overall. But both run over two hours and have plenty of variety, so Lloyd Webber fans don't necessarily need to pick one over the other. --David Horiuchi

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