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The first wave of the British invasion of theatre

Photo caption: Movie icon John Wayne with IA members.

Jesus Christ Superstar started life as a rock music album, and it marked the first appearance of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the young Englishman who would transform musical theatre and Broadway with it.

It was pop opera, with a sung-through libretto that required careful miking and amplification. The staging, lighting and sound design were all cleverly executed by skillful IA technicians, helping to make this and other shows successful despite complaints by critics that they were unworthy.  With this new emphasis on staging and dramatic special effects, shows (especially musicals) began to turn away from traditions of the past which had required large casts, including dozens of elaborately-costumed showgirls.

Staging became as important as songs and book, as dialogue and direction.  Alliance members found themselves caught up in a rapidly changing and evolving industry.