DENVER -- Sunset Boulevard opened its six-year U.S. national tour July 10 at the Denver Performing Arts Center to strongly positive reviews.
The national touring company of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, starring Linda Balgord as Norma Desmond, got four stars from the Denver Post.
Here are excerpts from two reviews:
From Sandra Brooks-Dillard of the Denver Post:
"Mansion soaring and beads glittering, Sunset Boulevard is a triumph of grandeur and glamour -- a $10 million production that more than lives up to all the hype. . .
"In addition to splashy spectacle, Sunset offers a gripping story base don Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 screenplay. The four-year national tour opened in Denver last night also presents [sic] an insistent, memorable score and a cast that equals -- and in some cases surpasses -- the 1994 Tony Award-winning Broadway production. "Linda Balgord is a spectacular Norma, an aging, once-beautiful woman desperately trying to recapture the days of youth, beauty and fame . . . Balgord's Norma holds nothing back. From her big, staring eyes beneath thin-plucked brows to her ever-grasping hands and halting, sobbing breaths, she is all over-the-top emotion -- and so tremblingly vulnerable, you often feel you should look away."
From Dianne Zuckerman of The Daily Camera:
" . . . its larger-than-life central character, sumptuous setting and crackling plot make it a perfect, spellbinding stage piece that pulses with theatricality. . . "Trevor Nunn, assisted by a top-notch creative team, has directed a thrilling production that moves with a cross-cutting cinematic pace . . .
"Linda Balgord is less well-known than previous Normas such as Glenn Close. That will change once audiences experience Balgord's memorable performance and magnificent voice, which does greater justice to the challenging score than Close's more limited range did.
"Balgord, costumed in eye-popping ensembles, adds greater depth by emphasizing more fully and more affectingly, the vulnerable, lonely woman inside the aging actress."