Tonys 2013: Andrew Lloyd Webber cancels appearance, citing health

Andrew Lloyd Webber said Sunday that health problems have forced him to cancel his scheduled appearance at the Tony Awards ceremony in New York. Lloyd Webber was expected to appear at Sunday's ceremony at Radio City Music Hall as part of a tribute to "The Phantom of the Opera," which is celebrating 25 years on Broadway.

The composer, 65, issued a statement on his official website Sunday. He said that he has been experiencing "constant pain" since October after treatment for a problem in his right thigh.

"As a consequence I have undergone countless medical procedures and two major back operations," he said.

Lloyd Webber said his recent health problems have forced him to cancel a number of public appearances. In 2009, Lloyd Webber announced that he was fighting prostate cancer. He subsequently recovered and was able to return to work.

"Phantom" director Hal Prince still is expected to attend Sunday's Tony ceremony. "Phantom" opened in New York in 1988 and still is running at the Majestic Theatre. A new U.S. touring production, staged by Laurence Connor, is scheduled to kick off in November.

Here is the full statement from Lloyd Webber:

"I am devastated not to be able to attend the Tony Awards in New York tonight where 'The Phantom of the Opera' is being honored for its 25 years on Broadway. My colleagues felt that it is time to explain why I have been unable to participate fully in my professional and social life over the last eight months.

"I have been in constant pain since October 2012 following treatment for a problem with my right thigh. As a consequence I have undergone countless medical procedures and two major back operations.

"This has affected my ability to undertake my normal work schedule. I was unable to attend the 25th anniversary of 'The Phantom of the Opera' on Broadway or the opening of 'The Wizard of Oz' in Toronto earlier this year. I also had to miss the funeral of my good friend Michael Winner and have had to cancel many other personal engagements.

"I have refrained from saying anything until now, but I have had to reluctantly agree with my colleagues that I needed to explain why I have had to withdraw from the Tonys tonight. I do not intend to comment further."


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