Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, which closed on Broadway in March 1997, is getting a second shot at a U.S. national tour. The musical's first U.S. tour began a projected six-year journey on July 10, 1996, but came to an abrupt end less than one year later.
Petula Clark, one of London's several Norma Desmonds, will star the production, to begin at Pittsburgh's Benedum Performing Arts Center on Dec. 1. The 47-city tour, presented by PACE Theatrical Group and Columbia Artists Management, will take the show through the year 2000. No further dates or cities could be learned at press time.
Susan H. Schulman, currently represented on Broadway with The Sound of Music, will direct. Trevor Nunn directed both the original London and Broadway productions. The musical, based on the 1950 Billy Wilder film of the same name, traces the intertwined fates of a faded silent film actress and a dissipated screenwriter.
The original Sunset tour closed at a time when Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Company was experiencing a period of financial and artistic distress, laying off staffers in its London office and abandoning a Broadway-bound production of the composer's new musical Whistle Down the Wind. A revised Whistle is now scheduled to open in London July 1.
-- By Robert Simonson