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Whistle Down the Wind

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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical (written with Bat Out of Hell‘s Jim Steinman) tanked during a 1996 Washington, D.C., tryout, but — after some major tinkering — has been given a second chance in the West End. By teaming up with Steinman, Lloyd Webber has returned to the rock roots that fueled his early hits, but the collaboration remains frustrating; while the hard-rock soliloquies are thrilling, other misfires, like the bad-girl anthem ”Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts,” border on camp. And the plot in Whistle Down the Wind, in which a teenage girl named Swallow feels the sexual itch for a man she believes is Jesus, is still beyond belief. C-

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