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Andrew Lloyd Webber Offers Free Musicals to Stream on YouTube During COVID-19

With much of the country in quarantine to protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 pandemic situation, artists and streaming services are stepping up to the plate to provide captive audiences with quality content to partake in from home. Most recently, composer legend Andrew Lloyd Webber has joined the ranks of such streaming providers. Starting Friday, April 3, a new YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On began offering the opportunity to watch a different Andrew Lloyd Webber favorite every week. Each show begins streaming on the channel at 2 PM (EDT) and remains accessible for 48 hours.

The platform comes to us from Universal in collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production and publishing company, The Really Useful Group. Andrew Lloyd Webber is known for his composition of many hit musicals including Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, and School of Rock, among other noteworthy titles.

The first broadcast, on Friday, April 3, was of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, known for being Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first success with Tim Rice. This 1999 direct-to-video film production stars Donny Osmond as the title character, alongside Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough, and Joan Collins. This mostly sung-through musical, based on the “coat of many colors” story from the Bible’s Book of Genesis, tells the story of Jacob’s youngest son, Joseph, and his betrayal by his brothers. The full performance has since expired, but a clip of Donny Osmond performing Joseph’s “Any Dream Will Do” is available for viewing on The Show Must Go On’s Youtube channel.

The next production, which will air on Friday, April 10 — Good Friday — will be the 2012 arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Tim Minchin, Melanie C (better known as “Sporty Spice”), Ben Forster, and Chris Moyles. Originally released in 1970 as a rock album musical before it’s Broadway debut in 1971, this rock opera is based loosely on the Gospel stories of the last week of Jesus’s life. The plot largely centers on Judas, who is disapproving of the way Jesus has led his disciples. The musical weaves contemporary ideas and attitudes with the biblical framing in order to provoke thought about religious and political ideology.

Additional musicals will be announced in the coming weeks. Among the ranks of coming productions will be his self-proclaimed “disaster musical” By Jeeves, which is based on a series of novels and short stories by P.G. Wodehouse that center around the character of Bertie Wooster and his loyal valet, Jeeves.