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Tim Rice Biography

Tim Rice Tickets

Tim Rice In-depth Biography

Famed for his enormously successful collaboration with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber}, lyricist Tim Rice} was born November 10, 1944, in Buckinghamshire, England. After fronting the little-known pop} combo the Aardvarks} during the early '60s, he worked at a law firm before first teaming with Lloyd Webber} in 1965 to author the musical} The Likes of Us}; the show never reached the stage, however, and the two went their separate ways, with Rice} accepting a position with EMI Records}. He reunited with Lloyd Webber} in 1968 for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat}, a pop} musical} inspired by the Biblical character {%Joseph}; the original production, lasting just 20 minutes, was first mounted at London's Colet Court School, and subsequent expanded performances at Westminster's Central Hall} and St. Paul's Cathedral} led to a Decca} cast recording issued in early 1969.

Rice} and Lloyd Webber}'s next collaboration, the 1970 rock opera} Jesus Christ Superstar}, rocketed the duo to international renown; first documented as a double album featuring performers including Murray Head}, Deep Purple}'s Ian Gillan}, and Yvonne Elliman}, the LP topped the American pop} charts, and successful productions were soon mounted both on Broadway and in London's West End. (The latter, which premiered August 9, 1972, at the Palace Theater}, later surpassed Oliver!} as the longest-running musical} in British theater history.) The Jesus Christ Superstar} feature film followed in 1973, the same year Rice} and Lloyd Webber} began work on their next project, a musical} based on the life of {%Eva Peron}, the wife of Argentine president {%Juan Peron}; highlighted by singer Julie Covington}'s international chart-topper "Don't Cry for Me Argentina,"} the 1976 album Evita} appeared nearly two years prior to the show's mid-1978 opening at the Prince Edward Theater}, with the subsequent Broadway production winning seven Tony Awards.

Rice}'s next major production, 1983's Blondel}, was authored in tandem with composer Stephen Oliver}, while for the follow-up Chess}, he teamed with ex-ABBA} members Benny Andersson} and Björn Ulvaeus}. A musical} inspired by the events of the Cold War, Chess} first surfaced as a 1984 album which generated the Elaine Paige}/Barbara Dickson} U.K. number one "You Know Him So Well"} as well as Murray Head}'s U.S. chart smash "One Night in Bangkok."} The stage show replaced Evita} at the Prince Edward Theater} in 1986 and proceeded to run for three years; its Broadway counterpart, however, was a colossal financial failure, closing after just 68 performances. In 1986, Rice} and Lloyd Webber} reunited for Cricket}, a 25-minute comedy commissioned in honor of the Queen's 60th birthday, but otherwise Rice} maintained a low profile in the years to follow before taking over for the late Howard Ashman} to complete work on the 1992 animated Disney} feature Aladdin}. The soundtrack's "A Whole New World,"} written with composer Alan Menken}, topped the U.S. charts and went on to take home an Academy Award.

Remaining at Disney}, Rice} next teamed with Elton John} for 1993's The Lion King}; the most successful animated picture of all time, it too earned an Oscar for Best Original Song, in this case the smash "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?"} The following year Rice} and Menken} wrote several new songs for the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast}, inspired by the 1991 Disney} film blockbuster; in 1997, The Lion King} was adapted for the Broadway stage as well. In the interim, Rice} collaborated with composer John Farrar} for Heathcliff}, a musical} based on the {%Emily Brontë} novel Wuthering Heights} which was first issued as a 1995 LP featuring Cliff Richard} before making its London stage debut the following year. He and Menken} also re-teamed for King David}, which appeared on LP in 1997 but for a handful of a handful of previews remained otherwise largely unseen. Rice} next reunited with Elton John} for the 1998 stage musical} Aida} and the 2000 animated feature The Road to El Dorado}. ~ Jason Ankeny ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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