Ron Bohmer will join Linda Balgord in the 35-city North American tour of Webber's Sunset Boulevard.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and director Trevor Nunn performed a stroke of starmaking by choosing the relatively unknown American singer Balgord for the coveted role of Norma Desmond. In choosing Bohmer for Joe Gillis, they're also hosting a reunion: Bohmer, who has been playing Enjolras in Les Miserables on Broadway, played opposite Balgord in the Canadian production of Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, which also toured the U.S. They played Alex and Rose in that show.
The Sunset tour launches in Denver this June.
Balgord was standby for the main character of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim's 1994 "Passion" on Broadway, and played the role of Fosca's mother in that show. She can be heard briefly on the original cast CD of "Passion," in the song "Flashback." It was Balgord's first, and so far only, Broadway performance.
In his annoucement, Lloyd Webber said he had been impressed by Balgord's portrayal of Rose in Aspects of Love. In a statement from London, Webber called her Rose "outstanding," and said, "audiences across America will discover, as I have, a true star in the making."
Balgord was nominated for Washington DC's Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Rose. She also was nominated for Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award (Best Actress in a Musical) for her performances as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" and Aldonza "Man of La Mancha."
Balgord appeared at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in "Sunday in the Park With George" and "A Flea in Her Ear"; and at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in "Two Gentlemen of Verona" and "Henry IV; Part 1." She's also performed the title role of Lloyd Webber's "Evita."
The role of Norma has produced more than its share of controversy for the likes of Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Faye Dunaway, Betty Buckley and her understudy, Karen Mason. Elaine Paige will take over the Broadway role in September 1996.
The tour of the 1995 Tony Award-winning musical will launch June 28, 1996 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Other cities in 1996: Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Minneapolis.
In 1997: St. Louis, Chicago, Louisville, Houston, Costa Mesa (CA), Tempe (AZ), San Diego and Kansas City.
In 1998: Omaha, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Boston, Cleveland and Philadelphia.
In 1999: Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Washington DC, Milwaukee, Detroit and Indianapolis.
In 2000: Nashville, San Antonio, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland (OR).
The entire design and creative team for the Broadway musical will recreate their work for the tour, including Director Trevor Nunn, Set Designer John Napier, Costume Designer Anthony Powell and Musical Stager Bob Avian.