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Glenn Close pictured in black and white, wearing a feathered boa and dramatic makeup. A street sign reads Sunset Blvd.

Show Description

“And now, Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up!”

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, former silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis stumbles upon her reclusive abode while on the run from debt collectors. 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 lifestyle. Joe becomes trapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free. The consequences are dramatic. 

Winner of 7 Tony Awards, Sunset Boulevard swells with a lush score featuring a 40-piece orchestra, the largest ever on a Broadway stage, by the acclaimed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Its songs include "With One Look," "As If We Never Said Goodbye," and "Perfect Year."

Glenn Close returns to Broadway
in the tour de force performance that earned her the Tony Award® for Best Actress–and a place in Broadway history–in Sunset Boulevard.


Anyone lucky enough to see Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the Palace Theatre will have bragging rights for the rest of their lives. Returning to the role in Lonny Price's new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton's Tony-winning musical, Close delivers as if no time has gone by at all. Joined by a 40-piece orchestra that fills the ornate Palace to its highest balcony, we're privileged to witness theater history in the making.


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Yes, Hollywood’s most fatally narcissistic glamour girl, Norma Desmond, is back in town, in the pared-down revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” that opened on Thursday night. It is a show that exists almost entirely to let its star blaze to her heart’s content. The light she casts is so dazzling, this seems an entirely sufficient reason to be.Miss Desmond is embodied by Glenn Close, the much-celebrated movie actress who won a Tony in the same part 22 years ago. And what was one of the great stage performances of the 20th century has been reinvented, in terms both larger and more intimate, that may well guarantee its status as one the great stage performances of this century, too.

---New York Times

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In fact, there is something fitting, even satisfying about this less elaborate, modest incarnation — if modest is not too foolish a word for an economical event that still begins with a drowned corpse in the air, dresses Close in outrageous gold splendor by the original costume designer, Anthony Powell, and has a 40-piece orchestra onstage. The musical is presented here in the familiar Encores! style of semi-staged revivals by the English National Opera, directed by Lonny Price, and, surprisingly, feels less like a hokey entertainment straining for artistic importance than did the original. And Close, more than two decades later, is just as daring but less campy and even more touching as the aging movie queen made iconic by Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder’s 1950 film. Always more of an actress than a singer, Close has a voice that now lets us feel the hollow depth of a desperately, grotesquely, undeniably poignant woman — aged out of diva prime.


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