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Sunset Boulevard

Updated: Apr 12

This is my fourth blog post and this time it’s on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard.

Here are some facts about the show.

The musical premiered in London's West End in 1993 before moving to Broadway in 1994. It was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.

Plot: The musical follows the story of Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star of the 1920s who becomes romantically involved with a struggling young screenwriter, Joe Gillis. The plot delves into themes of obsession, fame, and the illusions of the Hollywood industry.

Iconic Songs: The musical features several memorable songs, including "With One Look," "As If We Never Said Goodbye," and "Sunset Boulevard." These songs are integral to conveying the emotions and depth of the characters.

Tony Awards: The Broadway production of "Sunset Boulevard" was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 1995, winning seven, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by Leading Actress in a Musical for Glenn Close's portrayal of Norma Desmond.

Revival: "Sunset Boulevard" has seen several revivals since its original production, including a 2017 revival in London's West End, starring Glenn Close reprising her role as Norma Desmond. Close received critical acclaim for her performance, earning her a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical and recently there was a new revival at the Savoy Theatre in London from September 2023 to January 2024, it was directed by Jamie Lloyd and starred Nichole Scherzinger as Norma, it’s been nominated for 11 Olivier Awards and is now transferring to Broadway later this year.

Longevity: Despite not achieving the same level of commercial success as some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's other works like "The Phantom of the Opera" or "Cats," "Sunset Boulevard" has maintained a strong following among theatre enthusiasts and continues to be performed by regional and community theatres around the world.

Adaptations: Besides the stage musical, "Sunset Boulevard" has also been adapted into an opera by composer John Harbison, which premiered in 1996. Additionally, there have been talks about potential film adaptations of the musical over the years.

Overall, "Sunset Boulevard" remains a significant work in the realm of musical theatre, appreciated for its compelling storyline, memorable music, and captivating performances.

Recently I saw it in a local production at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in March 2024 and I liked it.

This year CAODS are doing their own production of Sunset at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln from Friday 1st to Saturday 9th November with performances on Sunday 3rd and no shows on both Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th.

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