Sunset Boulevard

sunset-boulevard-musical-glenn-close-broadway-show-tickets-500-1207Oh, how the audience responded to Glenn Close as she came on the stage! Enthusiastic at first, then escalating to wild applause with every scene, especially the beginning of the second act when “Norma” sings her “big number.”

This production of “Sunset Boulevard” was a riveting mix of Hollywood film and Broadway stage with all the glamour they can both portray. And Glenn kept up the magic, as she wrapped her “boy toy” in a web of need, greed and comfort. He hated himself all right, but not enough to leave. There was an amusing frisson of laughter when “Joe” gets out of the “pool” and the real Michael Xavier laughs with them and at himself and his role. (Not sure if this happens with every show, but on our night it did.)

The ending is of course, history, but the story is sadly truthful, as Norma Desmond tried to “make a comeback” with Cecil B. DeMille. Joe Gillis, her “writer,” her loyal chauffeur, indeed everyone humors her as she climbs her mountain of self-denial trying to relive her earlier stardom. It is pitiful, but never during the entire three hours can one feel sorry for Glenn Close. SHE is the consummate Star and obviously loving every minute of her adoring fans (including her ex-husband that evening).

Barbara Tober

2 Responses to “Sunset Boulevard”

  1. Barbara’s review is spot on. We loved it, and Glenn Close is in some ways even better this time around in this iconic role. The few times her voice faltered, it seemed to heighten the sense of the fading actress. Because the time lines are blurry, you don’t remember that she should be about 48-50 years old, but the much older woman Glenn plays her as now. It was great to see a true show stopping number. As If We Never Said Goodbye literally did stop the show and got a standing ovation.

  2. This is glamorous musical theater – Barbara describes it well. I thought Glenn Close did seem a wee bit older than the 50 that the role calls for, but she carried it beautifully (and post-show she commented that no, she wouldn’t be doing this in another 23 years using a walker). Michael Xavier was fabulous, and they played off each other so well. Multiple ovations; and does the adorable & well-trained Pippi come out on stage after every show?

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