Actor Glenn Close is about to bow once again as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunsest Boulevard. The show begins previews at the Palace Theatre February 2, with an opening night February 9. Close won a Tony Award in 1995 for her previous performance as Desmond and recently reprised the role in London. She stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to talk about her Broadway return.
“I did it this spring in London, [and] I have brought back to Broadway with me, making their debuts, three fantastic British actors,” said Close. She’s also excited about the sound of the production. “It will be the largest orchestra on Broadway in 50 years; we have 40 musicians onstage with us,” she said. “If you have a toupee, really paste it on very very well. It’s gonna be plastered on the back wall.”
Close reminisced about her earliest singing days, with a girl group in high school called Fingernails. Turns out, Close’s memory is a steel trap—she performed the parody of “Splish Splash” that she and her girlfriends performed decades ago. (Watch below.)
With the return of Sunset Boulevard, Lloyd Webber is only the second composer in the history of Broadway to have four musicals running simultaneously. “He’s a genius, he’s very, very witty,” Close said of the maestro. “The one thing I really really love is that we went into this, and I said, ‘I don’t want to do anything I did before. I want to come at it with absolutely fresh eyes,’ which we did. And he came in and he was re-orchestrating because he has 40 musicians that he can work with now. It’s like a movie score. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”
Close also demonstrated some techniques she learned to keep her voice healthy, including the “straw technique.”
While at the show, Fallon asked Close to recall a quintessential New York story, and Close shared a sentimental account about crashing her friend’s old apartment. (Her friend happens to be Lady Gaga’s mom.)
Before saying goodnight, Close competed against Fallon in a horse-drawn carriage scooter race backstage at The Tonight Show. Turns out, the actor can win more than just Tony Awards.