Starlight Express

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber

Lyrics: Richard Stilgoe

Starlight Express was originally conceived by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1973 as an animated television series loosely based on The Little Engine That Could. Instead, it evolved into a hi-tech spectacle on roller skates that featured a 5.5 ton steel suspension bridge and a gigantic set constructed of 6 miles of timber, 2.5 acres of sheetwood and 60 tons of steel. It took 1200 lanterns & 6000 pea lights on the back wall to create the star effect, and the production cost over 2.25 Million British pounds when originally mounted in London in 1984. The story revolves around a battered steam engine named Rusty who is encouraged to race a flashy diesel locomotive.

Second only to Cats as the longest running musical in British theatre history, the London production of Starlight Express celebrated its 6000th performance on August 12, 1998. The Broadway production opened at the Gershwin Theatre on March 15, 1987 and ran for 761 performances.

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