november 20, 2004
You could say Raymond Saar owes his marriage to Andrew Lloyd Webber, the megastar pop songster of the musical theater stage.
A decade ago, Saar and fellow actor Diane Ketchie were performing in a San Francisco production of "The Phantom of the Opera" and sharing dressing room walls when the magical lasso of love roped them together. Naturally, Lloyd Webber deserved a little payback.
Four years ago, Saar and Ketchie teamed up with singer Valerie Perri and a pianist to create a stage show that combines many of Lloyd Webber’s mostloved tunes into an evening concert.
"That’s part of our show," Saar says. "We say we’re married, and that always gets a big response."
As much as it’s been a payback to their musical impresario, the production been a cash cow for the performers. They’ve branched out into other theme shows, including a Gershwin production and a Broadway showstoppers revue.
But it’s the Andrew Lloyd Webber show Saar and friends will bring to the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, kicking off that center’s first full season of arts and entertainment offerings.
Saar promises he and his friends will be faithful to Lloyd Webber’s music. After all, he did "Phantom" for two years, Ketchie did it for three, and Perri was in "Evita" for more than three years.
"We know that material inside and out," Saar says.
He adds the group will touch on everything from "Sunset Boulevard" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" to "Phantom," "Cats," even a number cut from "Starlight Express."
"And if we missed anything," Saar says, "we have a threeminute overture that hits everything else."
‘The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber’
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Where: Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road
Cost: $20 to $25
Information: (480) 987-5964