"Phantom of the Opera" Film Director and Composer Featured on iTunes "Celebrity Playlists"

News   "Phantom of the Opera" Film Director and Composer Featured on iTunes "Celebrity Playlists"
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his film collaborator Joel Schumacher — who recently teamed on the current movie version of The Phantom of the Opera — are among the "Celebrity Playlists" featured for this week on Apple's iTunes.

Webber, who penned Broadway's Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and current London show The Woman in White, offers a various selection of pop songs including Justin Timberlake's "Señorita," Roy Orbison's "In Dreams," David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock."

The music man also provides candid comments on his selection: "Eminem does musicals!," exclaims Webber about the rapper's "Lose Yourself" adding, "Taken from the hit musical film 8 Mile" juxtaposed with praise like "One of the greatest performances from one of the greatest vocalist of the 20th Century" referring to Maria Callas' rendition of "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca. He also promotes his collaboration with Jim Steinman (Dance of the Vampires) for Boyzone's "No Matter What" suggesting "record company problems" held back the song from being a hit in the U.S.

Schumacher — who has brought films like "St. Elmo's Fire," "Flawless" and "Veronica Guerin" to the screen — opted for more rock fare. In the director's collection, which is titled "A Few Faves," are Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," U2's "With or Without You," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," INXS' "The Devil Inside" (for which he directed the video) and Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" — which the auteur explains is "My favorite song. I want it played at my funeral."

"The Phantom of the Opera" film is currently playing in theatres across the country as it opened wide Jan. 21. The cast features Gerard Butler in the title role, Emmy Rossum as Christine and Patrick Wilson as Raoul with Minnie Driver, Miranda Richardson, Ciarán Hinds and Simon Callow in supporting roles.

Previous "Celebrity Playlists" have included choices by such stage-related stars as Donny Osmond (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Peter Gallagher (Guys and Dolls), Edward Norton (Burn This), Harmony composer Barry Manilow, Kevin Bacon (An Almost Holy Picture) and Avenue Q's Rod (whose list includes hits from Mandy Patinkin, Barry Manilow, Queen, Elaine Stritch, Judy Garland, Pal Joey, Liberace, The Boy From Oz and his own "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada"). Apple iTunes users can access the iTunes home, "Celebrity Playlists" and chart topper information via the "Music Store" option on their players or through the website at www.apple.com/itunes.

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