Buckley Revisits Norma Desmond, Underscored This Time by Waxman, in L.A. "Sunset Blvd." Reading

News   Buckley Revisits Norma Desmond, Underscored This Time by Waxman, in L.A. "Sunset Blvd." Reading
She received raves for her singing Norma Desmond in the London and Broadway productions of Sunset Boulevard. On Aug. 6 Betty Buckley will have a chance to perform the original Billy Wilder screenplay in the Hollywood Bowl's staged reading — with music — of the film noir classic.
Betty Buckley
Betty Buckley

Buckley, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the deluded silent screen star in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical take on the story, will be joined onstage at the Hollywood Bowl by Douglas Sills as ill-fated screenwriter Joe Gillis, Len Cariou as Norma's butler Max von Mayerling and Jean Louisa Kelly as the naive, aspiring writer Betty Schaefer.

The reading is set to begin at 7:30 PM and will feature Franz Waxman's Academy Award-winning "Sunset Blvd." score. The score will be performed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri.

The company will also boast Hal Sparks as Artie Green, Conrad John Schuck as Cecil B. DeMille, Tom McGowan as First AD, Ken Howard as Repo Man, Charles Durning as LA Captain, Fred Forrest as BH Captain, James Cromwell as Sheldrake, Bruce Davison as Morino, Ted Heyck as Jonsey, Tom Costello as Guard, Daisy Egan as Connie, Alan Johnson as Hog Eye, J. Todd Adams as Cop and Holland Taylor as Hedda Hopper.

The "Sunset Blvd." screenplay was penned by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr. David Rambo has adapted the script for the one-night-only event. Rambo's script was also utilized for the Actors' Fund of America benefit reading of "Sunset" in April 2004.

The 1950 film "Sunset Blvd.," directed by 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 Buckley, Elaine Paige, Glenn Close, Diahann Carroll, Petula Clark, Helen Schneider, Linda Balgord and Debra Byrne. Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776 and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Also a TV ("Eight Is Enough") and film (Tender Mercies) star, the actress-singer devotes much of her time to concert appearances around the world. Her solo CD, "Stars and the Moon: Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar Warehouse," was nominated for a Grammy Award and is available on the Concord Records label. The actress was also seen on the final three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series "Oz" as well as in the Lincoln Center revue, Elegies: A Song Cycle.

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, CA. For ticket information call (323) 850-2000 or visit www.hollywoodbowl.org.

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