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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber
Aired July 1, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: One man knows more about Broadway stardom than anybody on the planet, and that man is here with me tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, MUSICAL GENIUS: Hi, Piers. It's me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musical genius with biggest shows in the past 30 years. Everything from "Phantom of the Opera," "Evita," and "Cats."
Tonight, his life, his career and his music and the stories behind some of his most unforgettable music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEBBER: I came up with, after a while -- it's kind of a tango.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And the singer who is storming the charts, no, not Lady Gaga, 11-year-old Jackie Evancho.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: If you've seen a musical in the past 30 years, it was probably one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's creations. He's won seven Tonys, four Grammys and, well, pretty much every other award going. And he's a Lord -- the greatest accolade of all, Lord Lloyd Webber.
WEBBER: I'm not sure about that.
WEBBER: You try saying Lord Lloyd Webber late at night.
MORGAN: It's a bit of a --
WEBBER: It's not easy.
MORGAN: It's a bit of a tongue twister. WEBBER: No, it trips up even the best. I thought you did brilliantly.
MORGAN: Now, you've just been to the "Spider-Man" premiere.
WEBBER: Yes, of course.
MORGAN: Which has been the subject of unbelievable media criticism for the last few months.
How have they got themselves, do you think, into that position?
WEBBER: Well, I'm not sort of privy to it, but the producers who have been involved with it are mainly people who come from rock.
And my guess is that the thinking behind it -- and it's not bad thinking at all -- my guess is is that they're really thinking of this as a long-term project for arenas and for rock places. Therefore, they're perhaps looking at this as a bit of a loss leader. But I think they got themselves into more of a tangle than they thought.
MORGAN: How are -- how are they dealing with it, Bono and the Edge, do you think? Because they're only used to unparalleled success in the rock business. But this has been --
WEBBER: Well, they were very --
MORGAN: -- by most people, the argument would be, it's been a bit of a turkey for them -- which they're not used to.
WEBBER: Well, I was sitting behind them last night, all -- practically next door, and they were really very delighted. And the reception in the audience was genuinely very, very good.
MORGAN: From a musical perspective, how did you rate it?
WEBBER: Well, I'm not a critic, and I never talk about other people's work. But there are a couple of really good songs in there.
And the thing about it is, is that writing for the theater is actually quite specific. You could write a really, really great song and it be in the wrong musical in the wrong place -- because musicals are really, really story-driven.
And therefore, it isn't just a question of writing a really great song. You can't just sort of come with, say, "Yesterday," or "A Hard Day's Night," and it be in the wrong place in the wrong show, and expect the song to work theatrically. That's the thing.
I mean, I come at everything because I always start with the story. Sometimes I get the story wrong or it's the wrong story, and then things don't work. But when they do, it --
MORGAN: Is the narrative key, do you think, to longevity on these things?
WEBBER: Yes. I think it is. I mean, you get an odd one, something like, say, "Cats," which was a whole collection of poems by T.S. Eliot about cats that he wrote for his godchildren. Well, that was quite different, and we stitched them together with a vague story that we discovered that his widow had that he wrote, which was a sort of, forgive the pun, cat's cradle.
WEBBER: But it was the -- that was where we started with that. But that's the exception that proves the rule. Say, "Jesus Christ Superstar" or "Evita" or "Phantom of the Opera." They're all strong, strong stories.
MORGAN: Have you had a situation like they've got where it opens and the criticism's pretty heavy, everyone's saying this isn't going to survive, and then it's gone on to be a huge hit?
WEBBER: Yes, I think -- although "Evita" been a very big hit in London -- "Evita" when it opened it here, had pretty bad reviews.
And then the mood sort of changed. Actually, funny enough, I think that that's an intriguing one because, in the kind of late 70s, America was a little bit in denial about talking about anything political. You remember the time --
WEBBER: -- after Vietnam, after everything. And I remember right in the early days of the "Evita" run, we hit the -- well, it was the same time as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, which I don't think everybody completely really understood what was going on, but I just read a good book about Afghanistan. But I'm going off on a tangent.
MORGAN: Another time, Andrew.
WEBBER: But it changed -- it did -- suddenly people started talking about politics again, and they said, well maybe Eva Peron and what we were trying to say there was an interesting subject.
MORGAN: How much have the critics got to you over the years?
WEBBER: I don't really care very much if I don't think that the critics really understand music.
MORGAN: But if it's someone, though, that you respect, what is the most hurtful kind of thing they could say that would really get to you?
WEBBER: Well, I guess if it's somebody who I did respect as a musician said that the score was humdrum or something, then I would be sad if I believed in the score.
And there are always going to be occasions where, I think, with musical theater, and I'm particularly, I think -- what I do in musical theater, it gets a little bit curious, because I fit between sort of two camps.
I mean, clearly, I would be the worst composer in history for "Hairspray."
WEBBER: I would be the worst composer in history, though I haven't seen it, I'm sure, for "Book of Mormon."
Yet, on the other kind of side of it, I am more operatic in the way that I go, but I'm not operatic enough for the people who think they're serious opera people.
MORGAN: Why do you think at the moment -- Broadway is on fire at the moment. It's making a lot of money. What is that all about? Some people say to me, it's linked to the success of "Glee" on television, the revival of musical for the young crowd these days.
What do you think it is?
WEBBER: Well, I think the television -- and I've been involved with the television casting programs in Britain. There's no question that that does help.
But I think that the fundamental thing is that it doesn't matter who you are, what you are, that you do want to go out to some kind of live event, and people like the idea. Even if it's going to a restaurant, they can't just sit over their computers all day and just play endless games and Twitter all the time.
People actually do like the thought of going to a space where they hear the reaction of other people. And they can hear -- you're part of a communal experience in the theater.
MORGAN: Unlike many of your colleagues in the world of theater, you're not remotely snobbish about talent shows. You've actually been a judge on shows in Britain, you've been a mentor on "American Idol."
What is your view of them? Can they produce genuine, bona fide stars, do you think?
WEBBER: Yes, of course they can. And the real thing, which I found in Britain -- it's more difficult to do here, of course, because there's -- it's such a big country, that people think it's odd, why would I, if I live in San Francisco, vote for a girl who might be going into "The Wizard of Oz" in Broadway. I mean, that's a different thing.
But in Britain, where it's much smaller, what we've been getting is we've been getting kids coming up, and particularly in the last program I did, which was "The Wizard of Oz," who are coming from backgrounds where they would not remotely even conceivably get to see me in an audition. MORGAN: I'm presuming you saw that on "American Idol" when you mentor there as well. I mean, you would see these kids who come from nowhere.
WEBBER: Yes, well, I find that very exciting, actually, because I came at it on "American Idol" possibly in a way that other people hadn't at that time. I always try and get the best out of them.
I mean, if you've got somebody's who's sitting there, you want to try and say to them, think of the words. Just think -- what are -- what do you think you're singing about? And then -- and it's amazing what you can get out of people if you only let them have a try.
MORGAN: When you watch a Susan Boyle, for example, what do you think of someone like her?
WEBBER: Susan Boyle -- of course, we all know, it was an extraordinary moment, not just in television, but one of the most extraordinary things that ever happened to a musical, because talk about something out of the blue for "Les Miserables."
WEBBER: In fact, an extraordinary moment. I mean, I would be a little bit careful what I say, because I know her a little bit.
WEBBER: I know all the people who work around her and with her. And she has got a really, really fabulous voice, which has come from nowhere. And it never would've happened without television.
I don't know that she would be able to sustain a role in a musical, because I think that might be just keeping focus like that for a whole evening and doing eight shows a week is one thing. But people who said it never would work, it certainly worked for the girl who's doing "The Wizard of Oz" who's doing all the shows.
MORGAN: And we -- later in the show, we've actually got Jackie Evancho coming on, and she's going to be singing with David Foster, who I know you know. I mean, she again, like Susan, came in second nationally --
MORGAN: On "America's Got Talent," but has an amazing voice.
WEBBER: Well, I heard a little bit about her because she sang my "Pie Jesu," and then --
MORGAN: That's right.
WEBBER: I think my ex, Sarah Brightman, sang with her at one point.
MORGAN: I watched it live, I was judging the show. And they -- obviously, I wasn't judging Sarah, but they did a duet together on the show. And it was -- what was incredible is you saw a 10-year-old girl almost hold her own.
MORGAN: With Sarah -- which I just did not ever expect to see.
WEBBER: Well, I know Sarah was very impressed with her. I was a bit worried about "Pie Jesu," and I was a little bit worried about "Britain's Got Talent." You're not doing that anymore, are you?
WEBBER: But you know they did "Pie Jesu" with a girl who sang it with a dog.
WEBBER: I wasn't sure about this.
MORGAN: Is that when even you start to say, "Hang on."
WEBBER: I think it's -- we've got to be going a little far.
MORGAN: Andrew, I'm going to take a little break.
WEBBER: Some said he'd improved it.
MORGAN: Going to do a little break, and I'm going to take you to that piano, because I want you to weave a bit of your magic for me. Take me down a little trip down memory lane when we come back.
WEBBER: I will try.
(MUSIC - "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA")
MORGAN: Back with my special guest, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Andrew, that was obviously from not just a great musical but the statistically greatest musical of all time, "Phantom of the Opera."
WEBBER: It may not be the greatest, but it's, I think, statistically the most successful.
MORGAN: How many people have watched it over the years? Do you know?
WEBBER: I know it's -- it's extraordinary. It has -- it still is, I think, the highest grossing entertainment of all time.
But, of course, it's apples and oranges, really, because, you know, if you show something in a cinema, you're showing it and people are paying a lot less money than they do in the theater, of course.
But "The Phantom" is one of those things that, whichever way one looks at it, you're never going to get near again in this century if ever.
MORGAN: What are we fascinated by? And I certainly am with you. How do these things come to be? You're a melodist at your heart.
MORGAN: But how does a melody for something like "Phantom" come to you?
WEBBER: Well, "The Phantom of the Opera," I'm a melodist, but I'm also a theater animal. And so, stories are the things that come to me.
But the story of "Phantom" happened in a very roundabout way.
When I was about to get married to Sarah Brightman, she was offered a kind of joking version of the story of "The Phantom of the Opera," which was going to be done at the theater Old Stratford.
And it involves her going out in London to Newcastle for a few weeks, and she really didn't fancy that. And she also thought that the idea was not particularly good, because it was -- it was a romp. And they were going to use real opera. So, it was -- and it came on, and it was exactly that, it was a romp.
And I saw it with Cameron Mackintosh, the producer, and we thought maybe it'd be a fun thing for us to produce. And we didn't think anything more than that. And we thought, we know the director, Jim Sharman, who directed "The Rocky Horror Show."
So, that shows you what it was like. It really was the Phantom comes swinging in and saying "boo" and coming off with little bits of --
MORGAN: And when you had that -- so you've got the concept.
WEBBER: Yes, but I didn't --
MORGAN: Where does this music come from?
WEBBER: Well, I -- to finish the story, Jim Sharman said, no. He didn't want to do it. Cameron and I forgot about it completely.
Nine months later, I'm in New York, and there's a book fair going on in Fifth Avenue. And there's a copy of the Gaston Leroux "Phantom of the Opera." I buy it. It cost 20 cents or something.
Buy the thing, read it, find the most confused novel that ever happened, but a love story in there, not a farce, not only -- but there's something in there. Which ended up with saying and when the Phantom, whose body was exhumed for some reason, when he was dug up, there was a ring on his finger, and it was Christine Daae's ring. And I thought, oh, my God.
WEBBER: And so it started. And I just wanted to write a high romance, and I thought this is high, Gothic stuff.
MORGAN: But then, physically, what do you do? You sit at a piano --
WEBBER: Well, with "The Phantom" --
MORGAN: And you've got this idea. How do you come up with each song?
WEBBER: Well, "The Phantom," I mean, originally started off, I mean for -- the phrase, I mean the -
(PLAYS NOTES ON PIANO)
WEBBER: I mean, I thought it would be sort of a dark rock song. It wasn't specifically "The Phantom of the Opera." In fact, the phrase went --
WEBBER: And I changed it in the end to --
(SINGS TUNE, PLAYS PIANO)
WEBBER: You see? I mean -- and in fact, these things evolve. But it's quite funny, because we're coming up to the 25th anniversary of "The Phantom" at the moment. And we're going to do a big concert in London to celebrate.
And I've been through all of the archive footage and everything, and it's extraordinary how different the first little tryout of "The Phantom" was that we did to what it actually ended up on the stage. Songs were sort of there, but then half of them went.
MORGAN: Tell me about "Evita," because that was another huge success, obviously, Broadway and in London. We talked a little bit about how it didn't start big in America, but it became huge.
There's a great story about "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" at the outset.
WEBBER: Well, funny enough, that was the one thing. I was working on an extremely ill-fated musical called "Jeeves," which never saw the light of day. Well, it did, unfortunately.
WEBBER: And I was so depressed during it. And Tim Rice had come up with the idea about Evita, and I thought, what we have to do is to find a melody that becomes her anthem and then turns on her, so that as she's dying -- and I saw that happen on stage. I saw Judy Garland once in "The Talk of the Town," at the very end of her career, and she sang "Over the Rainbow," and it was a travesty.
And I thought, if I could find a great, great, melody for Eva and turn it on herself, that'd be fine. So, I came up with --
(PLAYS "DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTIA" MELODY ON PIANO)
WEBBER: -- after a while. And it's a kind of tango.
(CONTINUES PLAYING "DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA")
WEBBER: And it started off in the show, which Tim wrote, "Don't cry for me Argentina, for I'm ordinary, unimportant." And that was how it began. Three girls sang that early in the show.
When it got to the main moment, where she comes out on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, she came out to the words "It's only your lover returning, although the truth is I never left you."
And I said, "Tim, no. It's not --
WEBBER: Anyway, that's not really a great title, so we tried "All through my crazy and wild days," was one of them. I mean --
(SINGS TO TUNE OF "DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA")
WEBBER: But then we all said, hold it. Why don't we just call it "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," because it's a great, great title.
WEBBER: And of course, it doesn't actually mean that much. But for some reason, the words -- and the title is such a good one that it just stuck, and nobody ever really asked that question. Not to me.
MORGAN: So, it doesn't really matter then, does it?
WEBBER: Clearly, you can see it does, but I think that's just a very, very one-off example. But, I mean, it's such a -- it's such a well-known song that people don't think that it could possibly have ever had another way.
MORGAN: Where do the melodies come? I mean, I've heard you tell me before that you can literally be walking down to the village store you have at your place in Spain.
MORGAN: And a melody will come to you.
WEBBER: Yes. And I wish I could tell you why. Sometimes you get the melody that -- you work on and you work on and you work on, and it doesn't come easily, but you get -- you begin to think of it. One of those is "Tell Me on a Sunday," which I spent a long time on this one. (PLAYS PIANO)
WEBBER: Trying different phrases and trying to take in different directions. But what song which is a huge, hugely successful song of mine but not so well-known in America, but I had a very, very big hit with a song called "No Matter What." And --
WEBBER: I'll play it quickly, or simply, rather.
WEBBER: The tune of that.
MORGAN: That's huge in England.
(WEBBER CONTINUES PLAYING PIANO)
WEBBER: Statistically, that's one of my biggest ever. But -- and I wrote that -- it just came. And actually what I was doing was I was tinkling around the piano, which I often do --
MORGAN: When you say it just comes, I mean, can you literally get almost the whole thing in your head like that?
WEBBER: Sometimes it'll come like that. But what also happens is that you can be sitting at a piano and you might be sort of going -- just playing around, which I often do just for the sake of it. So I come with, say --
WEBBER: Or do something like that. And suddenly you go --
(CONTINUES PLAYING PIANO)
MORGAN: And is like when you reach a moment? And then you say -- you feel like it --
WEBBER: I have been, sometimes, gone off -- gone to the fridge and opened a glass of wine and suddenly --
WEBBER: And come back and then --
MORGAN: And then you write it down, do you? And you --
WEBBER: Well, I do. You know, as I'm getting older, I always take a little music pad around with me, because in the old days, I used to think if the tune was any good, I'd always remember it.
That actually -- that happened with "Jesus Christ Superstar," with that, because -- MORGAN: Hold that there. We're going to take a short break, Andrew. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the big musical that really lifted you, particularly here in America, "Jesus Christ Superstar."
WEBBER: Oh, you started me off.
(PLAYS "JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR" ON PIANO)
WEBBER: With alternating chords.
MORGAN: That's the one.
(MUSIC - "JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR")
MORGAN: That was, of course, "Jesus Christ Superstar," the musical that propelled you, Andrew, and Tim Rice, into the stratosphere, really, particularly here in America, where they loved it -- very controversial at the time.
And ironic, really, we're sitting here -- of course this "Mormon" musical is exploding and winning all the Tonys.
WEBBER: Yes, yes -- which I haven't seen yet.
MORGAN: Not causing quite the fuss that you did.
WEBBER: Well, I don't know. I mean, maybe you can't -- maybe some people can believe you can't really shock people, maybe.
But we never wrote "Superstar" to be in any way shocking. We wrote it because we wanted to write the story of the man.
And, in fact, we really wanted to write a love triangle, because the whole thing was, did Judas Iscariot have God on his side? Did -- which was a Bob Dylan line, of course -- did Judas Iscariot Jesus because of jealousy about Mary Magdalene? That's where we came from.
What's very thrilling for me is that there's this production up in Canada at the moment --
WEBBER: -- which Des McAnuff, who did "Jersey Boys," among many other things, has just done. And it's really the first time that I've seen the love triangle absolutely tackled broadside.
MORGAN: It's fascinating to me that you've created these amazing musical, this was '76, I think, it launched. And even now, people are doing new versions of them, which can dazzle you.
WEBBER: Well, yes, it often depends on the quality of the actors and the performers. This one happened to be very well-acted. But, of course, "Superstar," nobody was interested in doing it in the theater when we started. So, Tim Rice and I did it as a record. All we'd done before then was "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
That had been quite successful in schools. So, everybody said, well, you've got to do another one. So they said Moses, right. Reverend Rice should do Moses. And we thought -- we looked at that.
And in fact, one time, "Jesus Christ Superstar" was going to be --
(SINGING TO THE TUNE OF "JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR")
WEBBER: "Samuel, Samuel --
WEBBER: -- this is the first book of Samuel."
WEBBER: It loosely -- this if you say all --
MORGAN: Is that true?
MORGAN: That's amazing.
WEBBER: Oh, yes. "I Don't Know How to Love Him" was originally a song called "I Long for Kansas Morning." It sort of went, "I'd" -- I was having a go yesterday, I'll do it in another key.
(SINGING TO TUNE OF "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM")
WEBBER: "I long for Kansas morning."
WEBBER: And it had a dreadful line, that chorus went --
(SINGING TO TUNE OF "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM")
WEBBER: "I'll see you now, you're flying high, Kansas on my brain. I'm trapped in Maine."
WEBBER: I mean, really.
MORGAN: Which of all your -- I know it's a bit like asking you for your favorite child, but which of all the musicals is your personal favorite, of yours?
WEBBER: Ooh. It's a difficult one. I'm very fond of "Sunset Boulevard."
MORGAN: That's my favorite.
WEBBER: But I -- because -- but it's a -- it's in, one sense, I think it's one of the most complete ones I've done. "The Phantom of the Opera" I'm very fond of. I genuinely think --
MORGAN: I love that moment when Norma Desmond tumbles down the stairway. I love that. To me, it's one of the most powerful bits of any musical I've seen.
(WEBER PLAYS PIANO)
WEBBER: But it's a wonderful moment in the theater -- when the guy called Hog-eye turns -- said, "Turn the lights on. Miss Desmond, Miss Desmond, is it you?" And all the flights and stuff, the lights come together. I mean, that is a genuine operatic moment.
MORGAN: And Glenn Close performing it.
WEBBER: She was great.
MORGAN: Was just sensational.
WEBBER: Yes. She was fantastic. But she was the -- wonderful thing of a superb actress. And the fact that she wouldn't really consider herself to be a great singer, but it didn't matter because she -- she just held the stage like nobody else.
MORGAN: Is it true Michael Jackson wanted to play the Phantom?
WEBBER: Yes. He wanted to play the movie, and I mean, I thought very carefully about talking about this, particularly after his death, because it just sounded like I was jumping on the bandwagon a bit, to talk about it then.
But it is true. He came to see it several times. He came to see it here in New York.
MORGAN: And did you speak to him about it, seriously?
WEBBER: Yes, yes I did. But the thing was, the film was at that point so far away down the line, people in those days were very worried that a film, if it was made, would destroy the Broadway or the West End show and everybody would just go and see the movie.
In fact, it's been proved to be completely the other way around. If you make a movie, it's just a great help for the theater.
But goodness knows what it would've been like.
MORGAN: He would've been incredible, wouldn't he?
WEBBER: Well, I think he would. There's another person who really wanted to do it, but he died again. Maybe it's because of the Phantom, but this is a long time ago, was Sammy David, Jr.
MORGAN: Wanted to play the Phantom?
WEBBER: He wanted to play the Phantom.
WEBBER: And I really wanted him to open it in Toronto, but everybody was a little bit -- they were a bit frightened about it, because I suppose he could've been taken the wrong way. But he really wanted to do it.
Do you know, it's one of those funny things, if you know, that you get categorized people. Now, because, I suppose, he was of a generation slightly before mine, I always thought of him as a kind of cabaret singer, and I didn't really think very, very much of him. I mean, and I didn't know.
Well, Liza Minnelli, who's an old, old mate of mine, we were down in south of France, and she said, "You've got to come and hear Sammy Davis." So I said, "Fine, fine."
I have never felt so ashamed in my life. For two and a half hours, I heard one of the most consummate performances I've ever heard, and he ended up doing "The Music of the Night." And I thought to myself, I never, ever again am I going to prejudge anything, because you never can tell. You never can tell.
MORGAN: Who of all the performers you had -- I know it's another hard question. If you could relive one moment live again that you've experienced, of all these shows, all the opening nights and everything, which one sticks most in your memory?
WEBBER: It's difficult, really. I suppose, funny enough, "Memory" on Broadway was an extraordinary moment, on the first night there, when Betty Buckley did it. The big moment when he gets to touch me, when he goes --
WEBBER: The whole audience just applauded just across it.
MORGAN: What were you thinking?
WEBBER: I did think that that's fairly extraordinary. Robert Stigwood (ph), who people may remember, used to manage me. He ran down the aisle and just said "Andrew, you've done it." That was a great moment.
Now people run the other way.
MORGAN: That leads me neatly to your irresistible over women. What do you put this down to? You've had a series of beautiful wives.
MORGAN: I am not sure I am that irresistible. I haven't noticed it lately. No, I was -- I think Sarah Brightman and I had a great rapport through music. And that I think that music says is a lot of things.
There are a lot of people who I actually don't really like music, but people who do, then you can talk a lot about it. There are a lot of artists who --
MORGAN: Do women find, do you think, musical genius sexy?
WEBBER: I don't know. Because I don't think I am one. I do know that what you --
MORGAN: You're being absurdly modest. Anyone that can just conjure up these kinds of melodies, which then become anthems all around the world, that's genius, isn't it?
WEBBER: I don't know. I think it may be just that I have a good ear for tunes.
MORGAN: Who do you think is a musical genius who is alive today?
WEBBER: Today? Well, I think -- put it another -- because I'm so really obsessed with melody. I would sort of prefer to say that I think, look at the last century. Say Richard Rogers I think was absolutely a genius. Gershwin was. Precoffiaf (ph), I mean, because anybody who can do -- for a cat.
That's the whole thing about cats in exactly four bars, which it took me 2.5 hours to do. He's a genius.
I think of the living composers who are around now. I really, really think Paul McCartney.
MORGAN: Do you?
WEBBER: I think some of McCartney's melodies are just sublime.
MORGAN: Take another break. When we come back, I want to talk you about the fact that you are the world's greatest Luddite. You don't email. you don't have a computer. You don't even drive a car. You don't have a mobile phone.
WEBBER: I've got news for you. I've had two.
MORGAN: Have you really.
WEBBER: I'll tell you about it.
MORGAN: Everything has changed. Play us out with another one of your songs.
WEBBER: What shall we have? Let's think. Sort of --
WEBBER: Be good for you. (MUSIC)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was from your new musical, which is a revival of the musical "Wizard of Oz," of course. It wasn't yours. How do you decide what to choose to revive? How do you work out what you think will catch on for a morning audience?
WEBBER: Well, I've been doing these TV casting series back in Britain. The trick with those is you have to find a character to cast that the public knows. The role of Dorothy is something that everybody knows. That's where -- we started with that.
Interestingly with Oz, it has never really worked in the theater before. We looked at it very carefully. That's the team I put together. Came to the conclusion what people have been trying to do is stage the film, whereas what you really had to do was go back and rethink it.
Therefore, we discovered no song for the whistle, no song for the Wicked Witch, no song for the Good Witch. I got permission from Warner Brothers, who control it nowadays, that I could write some new songs. I asked Tim Rice. So after --
MORGAN: Your back with the dream team.
WEBBER: We're back together again.
MORGAN: That's very exciting, isn't it?
WEBBER: It's been good fun.
MORGAN: Are you like Lennon and McCartney. You can't live with each other or without each other. Is it one of those situations?
WEBBER: Well, I don't know, because we're in constant touch at the moment. We were planning to do "Jesus Christ Superstar" as an arena tour next year. Now that this production has happened at Stratford. we've got to think about these things.
I can't do that without Tim. Tim is not interested in the production side of thing as I am. I just love the theater.
MORGAN: You love his words. He's a great fit.
WEBBER: Tim is a great lyricist.
MORGAN: In terms of other revivals, there is ongoing gossip about "Evita" possibly coming to the -- WEBBER: "Evita" is coming back, yes.
MORGAN: Any idea who may be starring in this?
WEBBER: Well, I'm told that Ricky Martin is playing Che. I said I'm told, because I'm not producing it. I've not been involved with the (INAUDIBLE) production. There's a production of my new "Love Never Dies" in Melbourne, in Australia, which is fantastic and everything that the London production isn't.
I'm not being involved with either. So --
MORGAN: Are they cutting out the problem, do you think, here?
WEBBER: I'm beginning to think that it's off to the village I live in called Daer (ph), and early retirement.
MORGAN: Fascinating thing about you is you are very Luddite. You don't drive a car. Right? You don't --
WEBBER: Not anymore.
MORGAN: You don't have a mobile phone, cell phone?
MORGAN: You don't use e-mail.
WEBBER: No. I have actually sent an email. I sent one email in my life, which was to Nicole Shirtzinger (ph).
MORGAN: Really? Saying what?
WEBBER: I can't remember now exactly. Said something. I bought this iPad. Problem is it doesn't work.
MORGAN: Can you use the iPad?
WEBBER: Well, it doesn't work.
MORGAN: You don't know how to use these things.
WEBBER: Every time it goes around -- I've been to Australia with the thing. I've been to here. I've been to Los Angeles. I've been all over the place. I've been to London. Bristol, you think it might work. Go to a hotel, doesn't connect up.
MORGAN: Could it be you that's the problem and not the iPad?
WEBBER: I've gotten it to other people and it won't connect up. I think It's this particular iPad.
MORGAN: You also appear to send your daughter images, Imogen, who is a friend of mine, a Tweet last week on Twitter.
WEBBER: I know. I know.
MORGAN: Was this actually you?
WEBBER: This has to do with the iPad. It wasn't actually me. I did dictate the Tweet.
WEBBER: You know Evie Burnett (ph), the vocal coach, don't you, who was on your program?
WEBBER: She's an old friend of mine. I'm finding out when I'm sitting in the studio this ridiculous Tweet coming through from Evie to Imogen. I just said haven't you girls got anything better to do than Tweeting all day. It seems to have caused an uproar.
I'm very fond of Evie. She's a great vocal coach. You're very lucky to have her.
MORGAN: She's amazing. She's worked with Jackie and all the others.
WEBBER: Everybody. She's a key player. She worked with me on the album "Love Never Dies," and has got results out of singers that I've not heard from anybody else.
MORGAN: If you were casting the all time dream musical, who would you want standing on that stage?
MORGAN: Who else?
WEBBER: Actually, Elvis would be great in a musical, wouldn't he? Any musical.
You know I would have loved to have gone back in time. I would have loved to have worked with somebody like Mary Martin, who would have been a consummate pro.
WEBBER: Sinatra, well, he obviously -- he didn't do a stage musical, did he? He did a lot of film musicals. I would have loved to worked with him.
But I think of all the people -- and I've been so lucky that I have actually worked with -- Glenn Close I think would be very hard, very hard to follow.
MORGAN: What's been -- I mean, you've had many surreal moments in your life. And you've met everyone in the entertainment world. What's been the most surreal, kind of pinch me moment you've experienced, do you think, for you personally?
WEBBER: Most surreal. I don't know. It's a difficult question to answer.
MORGAN: When you've been in some hotel bar in Los Angeles, when Sinatra and Dean Martin --
WEBBER: That was a little strange. It was about 3:00 in the morning. I don't know why, I was in the bar at the Peninsula in L.A. I come down to the bar. I was sort of feeling a little bit down. I think I was on British time. And you know how you get a second wind when you're on British time.
So I sort of came down. And in the corner is Frank Sinatra, you see. He says that's Andrew Lloyd Webber over there. I go over. It's a great privilege to meet Frank Sinatra, who seemed to be quite well cocktailed at the time, along with other things. You know?
So I sat down and joined him. And it was all fine. Couple of drinks. Suddenly, he turns to the waiter and says, bring me the grand piano. The grand piano was wheeled across the whole bar.
I don't remember what I played.
MORGAN: You played and he sang?
WEBBER: I think so.
MORGAN: What a moment.
WEBBER: I think so.
MORGAN: In the hotel bar of the Peninsula in L.A., you and Sinatra.
WEBBER: I'm not sure how surreal it was.
MORGAN: Apparently you were so drunk, neither of you could ever remember.
WEBBER: I think we sort of blearily did get through "My Way."
MORGAN: Andrew, you've certainly always done it your way. It's been a great pleasure to see you. I wish you all good luck with all your adventures, as always.
WEBBER: Thank you for asking me.
MORGAN: Thank you, Andrew.
MORGAN: Good to see you again.
Coming up, the singer who is tearing up the charts. She's just 11 years old. The quite incredible Jackie Evancho. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That is one of the most extraordinary performances I've ever seen on "America's Got Talent".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was an incredible moment in the young life of my next guest, and a pretty incredible moment for me, to be honest, the moment when Jackie Evancho's career exploded.
She was only the runner up on the fifth season of "America's Got Talent". But wow, she made an impact. She has a new album, "Dream with Me," which is, as we sit here, destined to be number one in the charts.
Jackie is here now with the legendary producer David Foster. David welcome. Jackie, how lovely to see you again.
JACKIE EVANCHO, "AMERICA?'S GOT TALENT" RUNNER UP: I can't believe I'm here again. I'm so happy to see you again.
MORGAN: We had quite a little journey together, didn't we? Because the extraordinary thing about you is you didn't even come to a normal audition show, like most of the contestants. We did this extra show, a Youtube show, send in your clips to Youtube. And the first time I saw you was a live "America's Got Talent" show in front of 15 million people.
And you were completely nerveless. You just showed so much confidence. What were you actually feeling when you came out?
EVANCHO: I was actually feeling, please do not mess up. This is my big shot. You know, I really wanted to get it.
MORGAN: Where does that voice come from? Because you don't have the voice of a normal -- how old are you now?
EVANCHO: I just turned 11.
MORGAN: Just turned 11 years old; 11-year-olds shouldn't sing like you. Where do you think this voice comes from?
EVANCHO: I believe that it comes from God. And if not, then just a musical family with great supporters and all.
MORGAN: You have a lovely family and they're very protective of you. David, you've worked with the greatest singers on Earth. How does Jackie rank, given her age, do you think?
DAVID FOSTER, PRODUCER: You know, to say that she is at the top of the heap would be an understatement. And you're right. I've had the great luxury of working with a lot of singers, from Celine and Streisand and Whitney and Madonna even.
Jackie, you said it, she's fearless. I'm an avid watcher of "America's Got Talent." I got to enjoy it as a person, not as a musician. I didn't know that I would be producing her album. It was fantastic.
MORGAN: It was electrifying.
FOSTER: It electrified the whole country.
MORGAN: It's amazing. I remember -- the moment I remember most, actually, was when you sang a duet with Sarah Brighten and you held your own. She's one of your heroines, I know. That was amazing moment for you. But it was for us because it was hard to tell who the professional singer was. You were so good that day.
What I like also you have a lovely giggle. You giggle a lot. You find all this quite funny, don't you?
EVANCHO: Yeah, I do.
MORGAN: Who are your favorite singers? David's worked with them all.
EVANCHO: I have to say -- I've never really said this before because it's something that's abnormal to be -- for a 11-year-old to say. But I really do believe that Barbara Streisand is a really, really great singer. And I'm really, really happy I did a duet with her.
But I also love lady Gaga a lot.
MORGAN: What about Susan Boyle? Because she also came from a talent show "Britain's Got Talent". I was there as well.
FOSTER: You sang a duet with her as well.
MORGAN: Can you have a normal life now? I mean, normal school children of your age, they go to school and they do their homework, all that kind of thing. What's your life like?
EVANCHO: My life is kind of a back and forth thing. You know, my parents do a great job with managing it. They have me performing a lot. And when I'm at home -- they don't have me performing a lot. But when they have me perform, they make it fun. And when I'm done performing, I go home and I kind of live a normal life, which is great for me.
FOSTER: And there are strict rules, too, about how late she can stay up. They're very good about that.
MORGAN: In terms of her potential, you've got a 11-year-old girl here selling millions of records already. How far could Jackie go, do you think?
FOSTER: The truth of the matter is she could go either direction in terms of pop or opera, because she has a great understanding of both, not unlike Andrea Bocelli. If she wants to be the greatest female opera singer of our time, of this new generation, I think that's what she could be. I think she'll be that and then some.
MORGAN: No pressure.
FOSTER: Yeah, no pressure.
MORGAN: Do you ever get nervous now or not?
EVANCHO: I get a lot more nervous -- I do get nervous. I get very nervous especially with the big one, the big performances.
MORGAN: We couldn't be happier for you, Jackie. It's an amazing thing. You've got a voice of an angel, as we said in the show. And I'm very excited now, because you're going to sing. David's going to play the piano. These are going to be tracks from your new album, is that right?
MORGAN: Good luck. Thank you for coming on. Lovely to see you again.
EVANCHO: You too.
MORGAN: Keep going. The better you get, the better you make me look as a judge. Good to see you. Lovely to see you, Jackie.
MORGAN: Right now, a special performance for this show, Jackie Evancho and David Foster. Jackie, what are you going to sing for me?
EVANCHO: I'm going to be singing a song called "Angel".
MORGAN: What else? A little angel singing "Angel."