Basically Starlight Express is a rock musical that was directed by several people, mainly: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Richard Stilgoe (lyrics) and Arlene Phillips (choreography), with later revisions by Don Black (lyrics) and David Yazbek (music and lyrics for the 2nd US tour). The story revolves around one child’s dream in which his toy train set comes to life, and then famously the actors perform while wearing roller skates. It is one of the longest running musicals in West End history with 7,461 performances, but the Broadway production only ran for 761 performances. It is certainly the most popular muscail show to hit Germany.
Back in the 1970s, Lloyd Webber planned to make a musical adaptation of Rev W. Awdry’s Railway Series books. This eventually fell through as Awdry felt that Lloyd Webber wanted a greater degree of creative control than he was prepared to give. A legacy of such early scheme is the Really Useful Company which was named in reference to a catchphrase that was utilize in varied books. Lloyd Webber was interested in developing the idea of a musical about trains further, and conceived what he described as “a Cinderella story” in which Rusty stands for Cinderella, and Greaseball and Electra, the stepsisters. The Starlight Express itself filled the roles of the fairy godmother in accordance to the stories.
The Starlight Express musical, also directed by Trevor Nunn, is similar in its theatrical concept to Cats in that it also features dancers in costume representing non-human characters. But unlike Cats, the music is mostly in the realm of that of disco and pop with one or two pastiche songs like that of the Country and Western styled “U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D.”, love duet “Only You” and the title song, “Starlight Express”. In other ways, this musical could have been seen as more of a return to the style of Joseph, although was more varied in its utilization of music,style as well as influence.
Starlight has seen many stars in its cast, these are Jane Krakowski, Jeffrey Daniel (Shalamar), Andrea McArdle, Ray Shell, Stephanie Lawrence, Frances Ruffelle, John Partridge, Martyn Andrews, Reva Rice, Oliver Thornton, Rachel Wooding, Greg Ellis, Jo Gibb, James Gillan and Greg Mowry. The show is basically a spectacle that features live stunts by professional skaters and a large racetrack that was build around the audience.
After several years of entertaining the world with its unforgettable melodies and several record breaking productions, Andrew Lloyd Webber has written new, never before heard music expressly for this production of STARLIGHT EXPRESS. He has then joined by a fresh yound Broadway talent, the Tony® Award nominated composer and lyricist of The Full Monty, David Yazbek. Eventually, both Webber and Yazbek have updated the memorable score, which includes music of every genre—pop, rock, rap, blues, even country and western— with the use of different contemporary music as their inspiration in work. The show is brought to you by London’s original creative team, this all-new production of the international sensation fuses state-of-the-art technology, electrifying music, and dazzling sets and costumes designed by John Napier, the Tony® and Award winning designer of Cats and Les Miserables. The show is certainly an impressive setm it is centered around a half pipe and with an unrivaled lighting and special effects system that has more than 1400 colors, pyrotechnics, lasers and optic effects combine to transform the roller skating performers into wildly careening trains, each having a certain unique personality. It is certainly a show that is worth the money and the watch, it will certainly leave unforgettable memories for any viewer.