Ready for Her Close-Up: Alice Ripley Stars in North Shore Music Theatre’s Sunset Boulevard Beginning September 24 | Playbill

Regional News Ready for Her Close-Up: Alice Ripley Stars in North Shore Music Theatre’s Sunset Boulevard Beginning September 24
The Tony winner plays Norma Desmond after originating the role of Betty Schaefer in the 1994 Broadway production.
Alice Ripley Marc J. Franklin

The North Shore Music Theatre production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard is presented September 24–October 6 in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Tony winner Alice Ripley, who created the role of Betty Schaefer in the original 1994 Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard, now plays former silent-screen star Norma Desmond, joined by Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan) as Joe Gillis, William Michals (South Pacific) as Max Von Mayerling, Lizzie Klemperer (School of Rock) as Betty Schaefer, Kevin Massey (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder) as Artie Green, Robert Saoud, and Neal Mayer (Les Misérables) as Cecil B. DeMille.

Nicholas Rodriguez Harrison James O'Brien

Kevin P. Hill directs and choreographs the production, with musical direction by Milton Granger.

The cast also includes Brittany Baratz, Kyle Braun, Michael Brennan, Ashley Chasteen, Bobby Conte, Christopher deProphetis, Andrew Giordano, Victoria Huston-Elem, Eleni Kontos, Jesse Michels, Melissa Shevae Mitchell, Alfie Parker, Jr., Ellen Peterson, Kelsey Schergen, Domenic Servidio, Cecilia Snow, Chris Stevens, Michael Yeshion, and Janelle Yull.

Based on the film by Billy Wilder, Sunset Boulevard features music by Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.

The creative team also includes scenic designer Kyle Dixon, costume designer Anthony Powell (Broadway costume design), additional costume coordination Kelly Baker, lighting designer Jose Santiago, sound designer Alex Berg, wig and hair designer Rachel Padula-Shufelt, production stage manager Natalie A. Lynch, assistant stage manager Dakotah Wiley Horan, and assistant music director Robert L. Rucinski.

READ: Alice Ripley Is Ready for Her Close-Up as She Performs ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ in Concert

“I can just stand there, and the sound of the music reminds me of when I watched Glenn [Close] stand there in the big white cuffs,” Ripley told Playbill in 2017, as she prepared to sing Norma's anthemic “As If We Never Said Goodbye” in concert. “That informs your movement. You visualize it, but also, there’s this three or four-dimensional capability you have to feel with your heart or imagination. It makes you move a certain way. Am I cold? Am I hot? Do I want to take the coat off? Is it just right? I think everything is just right in that moment.

“Let’s just say I’m ready when it’s ready for me.”

Sunset Boulevard is produced for North Shore Music Theatre by Bill Hanney, Kevin P. Hill, and Matthew Chappell.

Ripley has been a special guest performer on Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are now on sale for Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise featuring Kate Baldwin, Tedd Firth, Christopher Fitzgerald, Aaron Lazar, and Faith Prince (April 26–May 4, 2020), and for Broadway on the Mediterranean (August 31–September 7, 2020), featuring Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Gavin Creel, Caissie Levy and Lindsay Mendez, and for Broadway on the Nile (December 27, 2020–January 7, 2021), with performers soon to be announced. To book a suite or stateroom, call Playbill Travel at 866-455-6789 or visit

(Updated September 24, 2019)

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