Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and writer Ben Elton have been asked to present highlights from The Beautiful Game, their new London musical about soccer, political violence and romance in Northern Ireland, at the inaugural gala for president-elect George W. Bush, according to Lloyd Webber's New York office.
The song, "Let Us Love in Peace," is expected to be heard at the Jan. 18 inaugural gala, with Lloyd Webber playing piano.
"The invitation came out of the blue," Lloyd Webber said in a statement the week of Jan. 8. "I am naturally honored and flattered to have been approached to bring The Beautiful Game to this concert for the president-elect. I am sure that the show's themes of inclusion and reconciliation will reflect the mood that everyone in Washington will be keen to capture. There is much yet to be finalized and Ben and I are in close discussion with Washington this week."
Book writer and lyricist Ben Elton said, "When we wrote The Beautiful Game we wanted to cover issues that could come out of the conflicts in Kosovo and Afghanistan as much as Northern Ireland. Presenting the musical in Washington reinforces that international context."
The musical opened in London in September 2000. A London cast recording is available. It was not immediately clear if the Bush gala will include performances by American musicals from Broadway.
— By Kenneth Jones