Unmasked: An Honest Review from Justin Peters

Unmasked: An Honest Review from Justin Peters

Justin Peters, Arts and Entertainment Editor

On the night of February 9th, 2020, I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Papermill Playhouse’s Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical doesn’t follow a cohesive storyline. It’s a celebration of the life and work of one of Broadway’s biggest and best composers: Andrew Lloyd Webber. His career spans over 50 years, with musicals that have lasted for years on Broadway, with his biggest hit, The Phantom of the Opera, still running after its debut over 30 years ago. 

Unmasked encapsulates the rich and detailed history of Andrew Lloyd Webber with medleys and songs from such shows as Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Sunset Boulevard, School Of Rock, and more. The songs are sung by an incredible ensemble of voices, with Webber himself providing insightful and comedic history lessons in between the medleys and songs. Stand out performances include “Gethsemane” from Jesus Christ Superstar sung by Mauricio Martinez, “Memory” from Cats sung by Mamie Parris, and “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera sung by Bronson Norris Murphy. The show even includes a song from Webber’s requiem mass, a cello piece from his album Variations, and “Amigos Para Siempre,” a song he wrote for the 1992 Olympics.

Among these legendary songs are two new compositions The first is “Here We Are on Broadway,” a song sung from the perspectives of famous historical figures and fictional characters that Webber adapted into his musicals including T.S. Eliot, Eva Perón, and Jesus. The second one is “The Song That Everybody Hates,” a farcical piece about the song at the end of every show that nobody wants to hear because the story already ended. Unmasked was a fantastic experience and could be extremely popular and financially successful if it moves to Broadway.