Paige's Fears For The Future Of Musicals
British musical star ELAINE PAIGE has hit out at SIR ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER's TV show HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?, insisting it could damage spurned contestants forever. Paige, who shot to stardom in London's West End in 1978 for her lead role in Lord Lloyd-Webber's EVITA, insists the casting approach taken to find an unknown to play MARIA in a new SOUND OF MUSIC production could harm musical theatre permanently. She says, "I'm worried for the profession as a whole and I think this sort of thing has to be looked at very carefully and needs to be properly controlled so musical theatre isn't damaged. "They call it reality television but it's about as far away from the reality of auditioning as it's possible to get, and I don't think I'd like to be a part of that. "It certainly makes wonderful television but I'm concerned for the young people involved; auditioning is tough enough at best of times but in public it's even harder. "Criticism delivered so publicly can be very hard to take." Lord Lloyd-Webber is currently considering legal action over claims the show was fixed, and Paige does concede eventual winner CONNIE FISHER was the right choice. She adds, "She was the one for me from the start."