Patrick Wilson Is Joe Gillis in L.A. "Sunset Boulevard"; Durning Joins Cast, Too

News   Patrick Wilson Is Joe Gillis in L.A. "Sunset Boulevard"; Durning Joins Cast, Too
 
Recent Golden Globe nominee Patrick Wilson will portray ill-fated screenwriter Joe Gillis in the upcoming benefit reading of the screenplay of "Sunset Boulevard" at Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre.

The April 4 benefit — directed by Peter Hunt — is part of the Actors' Fund of America's second annual "Screenplays on Stage" fundraiser. As previously announced Wilson will be joined by Anjelica Huston as faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond, Ben Kingsley as Max, Stanley Donen as Cecil B. DeMille and Stefanie Powers as Hedda Hopper. Charles Durning has also joined the all-star cast; the actor will portray the L.A. Homicide Captain. Show time is 4 PM.

The classic screenplay "Sunset Boulevard" was penned by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr. David Rambo will adapt the reading for the one-night-only event. Rambo also adapted the screenplay for "All About Eve," which raised $300,000 for the Actors' Fund in March 2003.

The 1950 film "Sunset Boulevard," directed by Billy Wilder, concerned an out of-work screenwriter named Joe Gillis who happens upon the home of former silent-screen star Norma Desmond. William Holden and Gloria Swanson starred in the film, which won three Academy Awards. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black's musical version debuted in London with Patti LuPone as Norma. Other Normas included Betty Buckley, Elaine Paige, Glenn Close, Diahann Carroll, Petula Clark, Helen Schneider, Linda Balgord and Debra Byrne.

Patrick Wilson recently scored raves and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in HBO's "Angels in America." He received Tony nominations for his work in Oklahoma! and The Full Monty. The young actor will be seen in the film of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera as well as the Disney historical drama "The Alamo." Wilson will also be part of the upcoming Kennedy Center mounting of Can On a Hot Tin Roof.

Tickets for the "Sunset Boulevard" reading range from $28-$2,500. Priority tickets are now on sale by calling (323) 933-9266, ext. 35 or 54. The Actors' Fund of America is the only national non-profit organization that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. For more information, visit www.actorsfund.org.

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