The critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning Sunset Boulevard ends its limited engagement June 25 at 3 PM at the Palace Theatre. Three-time Tony winner Glenn Close, who won her third Tony for her portrayal of Norma Desmond in the original 1994 Broadway staging of Sunset, reprises that role in this production, which officially opened February 9 following previews that began February 2.
This limited run played a total of 138 performances.
Close is joined by Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis, Siobhan Dillon as Betty Schaefer, and Fred Johanson as Max von Mayerling with Nancy Anderson, Mackenzie Bell, Preston Truman Boyd, Barry Busby, Britney Coleman, Julian Decker, Anissa Felix, Drew Foster, David Hess, Brittney Johnson, Katie Ladner, Stephanie Martignetti, Lauralyn McClelland, T. Oliver Reid, Lance Roberts, Stephanie Rothenberg, Graham Rowat, Paul Schoeffler, Andy Taylor, Sean Thompson, Matt Wall, and Jim Walton.
Direct from a sold-out engagement last year at the English National Opera, which marked Close’s West End debut, this production of the musical—which is based on Billy Wilder's classic film of the same name—features a 40-piece orchestra, unusually large by contemporary standards.
Director Lonny Price, who also staged the London production, previously told Playbill, “Working with Glenn on this role was a real joy for me—primarily because Glenn was uninterested in a re-creation. She was, in fact, dead set on exploring what Norma and Sunset mean to her now, in 2016. I'm very excited New York audiences will get to experience this new and thrilling interpretation of this iconic role. To say nothing of a 40-piece orchestra playing what I think is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s very best!”
The ENO production of Sunset Boulevard was nominated for two Evening Standard Awards: Best Musical and Best Musical Performance for Close.
“In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world,” according to press notes. “Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free, with dramatic consequences.”
Lloyd Webber’s score includes “With One Look,” “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” and “Perfect Year.”
Check out production photos from Sunset with Close:
See Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in her Return to Sunset Boulevard
Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's 1993 world-premiere production in London, earning an Olivier nomination for her performance. Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a 1995 Tony Award for her work as the aging, deluded silent-film star. Other musical Normas include Betty Buckley (London [Olivier nomination] and New York), Elaine Paige (London and New York), Karen Mason (Standby in Los Angeles and New York), Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Rita Moreno (London), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany), and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour). Florence Lacey, Loni Ackerman, Liz Callaway, and Valerie Perri are among those who have played the role regionally.
The creative team also includes choreographer Stephen Mear, scenic designer James Noone, costume designer Tracy Christensen, lighting designer Mark Henderson, sound designer Mick Potter, wig, hair and makeup designers Dave Bova and J. Jared Janas, fight directors Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet, music director/conductor Kristen Blodgette, and associate director Matt Cowart. Anthony Powell designed Close's costumes.
Multiple Oscar nominee Close is a three-time Tony winner for her performances in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden, and Sunset Boulevard.
Sunset Boulevard is produced by Paul Blake and Mike Bosner by special arrangement with Really Useful Group Ltd.
Watch Close discuss returning to the role of Norma Desmond:
(Updated June 25, 2017)