Elaine Paige Will Do B'way 'Sunset'

News   Elaine Paige Will Do B'way 'Sunset'
UPDATE: Theatre Divas -- 1/3/96

UPDATE: Theatre Divas -- 1/3/96


Hello again! Great news for all you Elaine Paige fans. The diminutive star with the powerhouse voice will finally make her Broadway debut in, yes, you guessed it, "Sunset Boulevard." Paige is scheduled to take over the role of Norma Desmond on September 5, 1996.

Paige originally substituted for our own Ms. Betty Buckley when Buckley was out from the London production due to appendix surgery. Paige garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of Norma D at that time, and when Betty left the show to garner her own set of raves in the New York production, Paige returned to the London cast.

On a talk show in London last January, Paige spoke about how great the role of Norma Desmond is to play--"you get all these great songs and then she goes bonkers at the end!""Sunset" composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has provided Paige with some of her biggest triumphs, had this to say about her: "Elaine Paige was the original Evita. She was the original Grizabella in 'Cats,' and I am delighted that she is finally making her long overdue debut on Broadway in the role of Norma Desmond, in which she has starred triumphantly in London over the past year."

Paige has been a leading star of the British musical theatre since she created the role of Eva Peron in "Evita" two decades ago. She has gone on to become the Queen of the Musical Theatre in the West End, giving unforgettable performances as Grizabella in "Cats," Florence Vassy in the ABBA/Tim Rice musical "Chess," Reno Sweeney in "Anything Goes" and Edith Piaf in "Piaf." She received the SWET (Society of West End Theatre Award -- since renamed the Olivier Award) for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in "Evita" and has received Olivier nominations for her work in "Chess," "Anything Goes" and "Piaf."

Paige has had a prolific recording career as well in addition to the cast albums of "Billy," "Evita," "Cats," "Chess," "Anything Goes" and "Piaf," she has released 14 solo albums, including tributes to the "Stage," "Cinema" and the rock group Queen. Her latest, magnificent recording, titled "Encore," features highlights from her theatre career, including three songs from 'Sunset Boulevard.' You can just imagine how great she is in the role of Norma Desmond after listening to her breath-taking rendition of "As If We Never Said Goodbye." I was fortunate enough to catch her portrayal of Norma Desmond, and, I promise, you won't be disappointed.

After two decades of waiting, we're all ready for Elaine Paige to have her Broadway close-up.

P.S. For those of you who haven't caught Betty B in the role yet, what are you waiting for? For those of you scheduling trips, the multi-talented Tony winner will continue in the New York production of 'Sunset' through mid-August.

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