The Birthday Boys: Sondheim and Lloyd Webber Share March 22 Salutations

News   The Birthday Boys: Sondheim and Lloyd Webber Share March 22 Salutations One of the strangest coincidences of modern musical theatre is the fact that its two foremost composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, share a birthday, March 22.

One of the strangest coincidences of modern musical theatre is the fact that its two foremost composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, share a birthday, March 22. Lord Lloyd Webber of Sydmonton was born in 1948, and thus turns 53. Sondheim, who lives in New York, was born in 1930, meaning he's celebrating his 71st birthday.

Both have had trouble reaching Broadway with new work in recent years, Sondheim stalling with Wise Guys, which is back in the drawing board stage, and Lloyd Webber with Whistle Down the Wind, which was twice scratched from Broadway seasons. (Lloyd Webber's latest, The Beautiful Game, received an Olivier nomination for Best Musical but lost to Merrily We Roll Along and may be seen as too dark and region-specific in its English-Irish storyline to cross the Atlantic.)

On the other hand, both composers are doing well with their older works. Sondheim's Follies is currently receiving a major Broadway revival courtesy of the Roundabout, which will also bring back his Assassins next season. There's also talk of an Into the Woods return in 2002. Though Cats finally closed last year and Jesus Christ Superstar had a poorly-received Broadway revival, Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera remains a juggernaut at the Majestic Theatre, and his Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a perennially popular tour vehicle. And a reworked Pittsburgh production of By Jeeves may reach Broadway next season.