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Friday, February 16, 2018

World premiere of UNMASKED by Andrew Lloyd Webber at PMP next season

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Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, announced today the world premiere of UNMASKED, which will feature some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most iconic work and the stories behind its creation, along with new music and memories from his extraordinary life and career, will open its 2018-2019 season.

UNMASKED will be a funny and warm musical portrait drawing from Andrew’s extensive body of work, with intimate and sometimes unexpected interpretations of his best-loved songs, rediscovered gems and some new material specially written for this production.

In the year Andrew Lloyd Webber releases his memoir*, also titled Unmasked, and the personally curated Platinum Collection album**, this new stage production will be an exploration of a man and his music, his creative process and the often surprising manner in which his songs, and the musicals in which they feature, came to be.  It will include some of Lloyd Webber’s most recognizable characters interacting with one another for the first time, and new takes on his music, including a cappella versions of his songs and an often wry look at the genre he has, for many, come to define.

UNMASKED is co-created with Richard Curtis, the award-winning screenwriter, producer and film director behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, and John Doyle, who won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his Broadway version of Sweeney Todd. His revival of The Color Purple won two Tony Awards in 2016 and he is the Artistic Director of the Classic Stage Company in New York.

“I’m so excited to be involved in Unmasked,” said Richard Curtis. “We start from the position of having in the show a huge collection of some of the greatest songs ever written for musical theatre - and then learn more about Andrew and his way of working and how the music relates to him and his life. With luck there’ll be some very fun new stuff too.  I love Andrew and his work -  in real life, he has always made me laugh - and in the theatre, a lot of his music has made me cry. I’m thrilled to be part of something that I hope will make the audience do both, laugh and cry.”

John Doyle said, “I'm thrilled to help create this exciting new theatre piece celebrating Andrew's remarkable body of work. An event that explores the art behind his melodies, whilst reflecting his somewhat irreverent, self-deprecating sensibility. It's going to be a lot of fun!”

Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director of Paper Mill Playhouse, commented, “Unmasked is another amazing opportunity for our theater to introduce a new title to the musical theater canon. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a legend and we are fortunate to be working with him, along with Richard and John, on this incredible project.”

A limited run of this brand-new production will start September 27, 2018, and run through October 28, 2018. Subscriptions for Paper Mill Playhouse’s new season will be available in March and may be purchased by calling 973-379-3717. Individual show tickets will go on sale Monday, August 20, 2018. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order discounted rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2018/2019 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

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