Unmasked is Mr. Lloyd Webber’s charmingly idiosyncratic, surprisingly endearing and ruthlessly entertaining autobiography. It is customary to compare great musical autobiographies to the Memoirs of Berlioz, but Unmasked is much more fun ... Like the author’s music, his memoir is irresistible. Mr. Lloyd Webber sounds like himself on the page; this, like writing show tunes, is more difficult than it may appear. His love for the business is infectious, and his anecdotage polished ... The critics call Mr. Lloyd Webber a ham, and it clearly hurts. But the critics, Richard Rodgers once told him, are 'afraid of sentiment,' and are often musically illiterate. This is musical theater, after all.
The book reads like dinner party tales: conquests, side stories and a few confessions. The tone? Puckish smile behind lifted wine glass ... Such jaunty 'making of' stories are the bulk of the book, and, veiled as it is, you get a sense of his temper under pressure, especially when cost-cutting or ineptitude threatened the quality of his complicated projects ... But the unworried Unmasked proves as readable as his hits are watchable.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has decided the time is right to share some memories (sorry). And yes, the story behind Memory, from Cats, or at least Barbra Streisand’s rendition of it, is one of the juicier tales in...Lloyd Webber’s meticulously rendered memoir of his life and fabulous career ... Some impatient readers may find Unmasked more of a door-stopper than a show-stopper.