Valerie Perri Is Ready for Her Close-Up in Musical Theatre West's Sunset Boulevard, Starting July 12
By Andrew Gans
Musical Theatre West’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard is presented July 12-28 at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA, exactly 20 years to the day after the show’s London world premiere.
Following in the footsteps of Patti LuPone, Florence Lacey and Loni Ackerman is another former star of Evita, Valerie Perri, who portrays faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond. She is joined onstage by David Burnham (Joe Gillis), Norman Large (Max von Mayerling), Ashley Fox Linton (Betty Schaefer), David Aldrete (Cecil B. Demille), Marc Ginsburg (Artie Green), Jeff Skowron (Sheldrake & Manfred) and Marc Ginsburg (Artie) with Lucas Coleman, Peyton Crim, Marisa Field, Brad Fitzgerald, Karla Franco, Juan Guillan, Caitlin Humphreys, Will Huse, Tom McMahon, Tiana Okoye, Kirklyn Robinson, Trance Thomas and John Todd.
The production also features direction by Larry Raben, musical direction by David Lamoureux and musical staging by John Todd.
The 1950 Oscar-winning motion picture of the same title starred screen legends Gloria Swanson (as Norma Desmond) and William Holden (as Joe Gillis) before it opened as a musical in London’s West End starring LuPone and Kevin Anderson at the Adelphi Theatre July 12, 1993, where it ultimately ran for 1,529 performances.
Sunset Boulevard, according to press notes, "weaves a magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition. Silent movie star Norma Desmond longs for a return to the big screen, having been discarded by tinsel town with the advent of 'talkies.' Her glamour has faded in all but her mind. When she meets struggling Hollywood screen-writer Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances, their subsequent passionate and volatile relationship leads to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion."
The musical, directed by Trevor Nunn with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, won seven Tony Awards in 1995 including Best Musical.
Rounding out the creative team are Mary Ritenhour as production manager with Kelly Marie Pate as stage manager, Kevin Clowes as technical designer, Jean-Yves Tessier as lighting designer, Julie Ferrin as sound designer and Kate Poppen as costume coordinator.
Tickets may be purchased online at musical.org or by phone at (562) 856-1999, ext. 4. Prices begin at $20. Tickets may also be purchased at the Musical Theatre West Box Office located at 4350 East 7th Street, Long Beach, CAPeriod
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