UPDATE: Theatre Divas -- 1/11
For the third year in a row, the lead actress portraying Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" has been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. This year, the honor of a nomination has gone to the Queen of the London Musical Theatre, Elaine Paige, who was last nominated two seasons ago for her work in the musical "Piaf."
Interestingly, when Paige was nominated for "Piaf," one of her competitors was Patti LuPone, who, as we all know, was nominated for originating the role of Norma D. Unfortunately, neither woman won the award was presented to Julia McKenzie for her work in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd." Paige, however, did win the coveted award when she opened the London production of "Evita." (However, at that time the awards were called S.W.E.T. Society of West End Theatres.)
It will be interesting to see whether Paige wins the award; the award seems to be elusive to Normas, as neither LuPone nor Betty Buckley received it. This year, Paige's running mates are Judi Dench for "A Little Night Music," Elizabeth Mansfield for "Marie" and Caroline O'Connor for "Mack and Mabel."
For those of you who can't wait until Paige takes over the role in the New York production of "Sunset" this summer (her official opening is September 5), be on the lookout for her newest recording, which will be released in the U.S. on the Atlantic Records label. Titled "Encore!," it includes three songs from "Sunset Boulevard": "As If We Never Said Goodbye," "With One Look" and "The Perfect Year." The Olivier Awards will be given February 18. Playbill On-Line will announce the winners.