It started with Andrew Lloyd Webber asking his Twitter followers which song they’d like to hear him play at the piano during this period of lockdown. When he tinkled away All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda responded enthusiastically and Lloyd Webber challenged him to a playoff. Miranda sang back Everything’s Alright from Jesus Christ Superstar. Now, Nile Rodgers has joined in the play-off, too.
The Chic man tweeted that he was taking up the “composers in quarantine challenge” after being “stuck in this house for 15 days”. Playing guitar, Rodgers then whips through Heaven on Their Minds, Judas’s solo from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Addressing Lloyd Webber, he says: “you tell me how much I messed this up!” Rodgers ends the song at the line, “And believe me / My admiration for you has not died” – perhaps highlighting his appreciation of the British composer.
I loved watching my dear friend (and musical genius!) @officialalw do his play offs with @lin_manuel so I thought I’d challenge myself and him to one.
Get ready to get down AWL! #HomeIsWhereTheMusicIs Andrew I challenge you to do my song w #daftpunk #getlucky Stay safe, #love! pic.twitter.com/nOWaoZj5V0
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) April 2, 2020
Lloyd Webber is then challenged to perform Get Lucky, Rodgers’ hit single with Daft Punk. “I can’t rival your guitar playing,” says Lloyd Webber before offering a few variations on the chorus, including as a piano concerto, a grand waltz and a Phantom-style organ version. (“Sorry about that Nile,” he says, “but the Phantom did his best.”) Rodgers responds: “I’m going #Gershwin or #RichardRodgers on you. You don’t have to take it as a challenge but let’s see what you do after I play the next song.”
This week, it was announced that a selection of Lloyd Webber musicals will be released weekly for free on the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On, starting on Friday with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and followed by Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Tim Minchin and Melanie C, on 10 April.