Recording artist Nicole Scherzinger, who played Grizabella in the London revival of Cats, will step into the leading role of another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical when she plays former silent screen star Norma Desmond in the forthcoming West End revival of Sunset Boulevard.
Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the production, celebrating the musical's 30th anniversary, will begin in September at London's Savoy Theatre. Exact dates and additional casting will be announced at a later time.
Director Lloyd said in a statement, “After our reappraisal of Evita at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, I’m very excited to rediscover another iconic Lloyd Webber musical—and Sunset Boulevard is one of his most thrilling, complex, and atmospheric scores. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to create a new production of this fascinating piece with the extraordinary Nicole Scherzinger.”
Lloyd Webber also commented, “Nicole is one of the finest singers I have worked with, and I can’t wait to get started on this exciting show with her and the rest of this brilliant team."
Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard (with a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) is based on the 1950 movie of the same name, 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, which was directed by the late Billy Wilder. Swanson, Holden, and Wilder all received Academy Award nominations for their work.
Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's world-premiere production in London, earning an Olivier nomination for her performance. Glenn Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a Tony Award for her work as the aging actor. Other musical Normas include Olivier winner Elaine Paige (London and New York), Tony winner Betty Buckley (London and New York), Tony winner Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany), and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour). After bringing her Norma to London, Close starred in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunset, while Tony winner Stephanie J. Block played Norma in a recent production at the Kennedy Center.
Scherzinger, who played Grace in Annie Live!, also voiced the character Sina in Disney’s Moana and starred in ABC's remake of Dirty Dancing.
The Jamie Lloyd Company production of Sunset Boulevard is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Michael Harrison for Lloyd Webber Harrison Musicals, Gavin Kalin Productions, and Wessex Grove.
The 16-week production marks the first presented by Lloyd Webber Harrison Musicals, the new joint venture by Lloyd Webber and Michael Harrison.
Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.
Tickets will go on sale in June. Visit SunsetBoulevardWestEnd.com.