Beauty and the Beast

June 28

August 26, 2012

in CST's Courtyard Theater

music by Alan Menken
lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
book by Linda Woolverton
directed by Rachel Rockwell

Tim Rice


Tim Rice was born in 1944. From 1956 to 1965 he wanted to be Elvis. Then he met Andrew Lloyd Webber whose musical ambitions were in theatre rather than rock. They joined forces as one could knock out a decent tune, the other had a way with words. They wrote four shows together. The first, The Likes of Us (1965–6), was never performed, but Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1969–71) and Evita (1976–78) became, and indeed remain, hugely successful all around the world, on both stage and screen. Feeling certain that they could never top this lot, the pair went their separate ways in the early eighties, whereupon Andrew Lloyd Webber immediately topped that lot with Cats. Mr. Rice then wrote Blondel (1983), a medieval romp, with Stephen Oliver, which ran for a year in London, but not for long anywhere else. In 1986 came Chess, written with ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Chess had a healthy UK run but flopped on Broadway in 1988, the New York Times bloke simply not getting it. In 1989 Rice translated the famous French Berger-Plamondon musical Starmania into English, which merely resulted in a hit album in France. In the nineties he worked primarily with the Disney empire, contributing lyrics to the movies Aladdin (music by Alan Menken) and The Lion King (music by Elton John and Hans Zimmer) and to the stage shows Beauty and the Beast (music by Alan Menken), The Lion King and Aida (music by Sir Elton). In lunch breaks he wrote the words for Cliff Richard's theatrical extravaganza Heathcliff (music by John Farrar) which toured the UK in 1995–96. He is currently reworking an operatic musical he has written with Alan Menken (King David), and on new treatments, for both stage and screen, of Chess, the New York Times bloke having been replaced. He also has a new idea which may or may not see the light of day. He has won many awards, mainly for the wrong things, or for simply turning up. He lives in England, has three children, his own cricket team and a knighthood (that's Sir Tim to you).

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