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. Directed by Lonny Price, the production is scheduled to play a limited 16-week engagement.
A HISTORY OF GREAT LADIES IN SUNSET BOULEVARD
Price, who also directed the London staging, previously told Playbill.com, “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, including Best Musical and a Best Musical Performance nomination for Close.
Sunset Boulevard features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and lyrics by Black and Christopher Hampton.
“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.” When Sunset Boulevard opens at the Palace, the composer will have the rare distinction of having four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock—The Musical, Cats, and Sunset Boulevard.
Check out production photos from the recent London staging of Sunset with Close:
Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard is based on Wilder's 1950 movie of the same title, which featured Gloria Swanson as the reclusive Norma Desmond, who falls in love with an unlucky writer — Joe Gillis — who happens upon her home by accident. William Holden played Gillis in the film; Swanson, Holden, and Wilder all received Academy Award nominations for their work.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 special arrangement with Really Useful Group Ltd.
Watch Close discuss returning to the role of Norma Desmond:
(Updated February 2, 2017)