Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will present two songs from his new London musical, The Beautiful Game, at The Inaugural Opening Ceremony for president-elect George W. Bush at approximately 5 PM Jan. 18 in Washington DC.
According to Lloyd Webber's new York office, the composer will play piano and be joined by pop singer Jessica Simpson and London actress Josie Walker, who stars in The Beautiful Game in the West End. A 32-piece orchestra and a large high school choir will sweeten the sound.
The show's "Let Us Love in Peace" and "If This is What We're Fighting For" will be heard.
Coincidentally, the new Lloyd Webber-Ben Elton tuner — about soccer, political violence and romance in Northern Ireland — was nominated for a number of Olivier Awards Jan. 18, including Best New Musical. Walker also was nominated in the Best Actress (Musical) category.
* "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.
— By Kenneth Jones