Sunset Boulevard: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony-Winning Musical
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The last date listed for Sunset Boulevard was Sunday April 15, 2012 / 2:00pm.
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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I thought it was a first rate performance, but as with many other events at the Lesher, the sound system was not up to the quality of the performance. There were stretches when one could not understand what was being said or sung. This was especially true in ensemble numbers. Somebody should really evaluate and improve the sound system.
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Performance was at Lesher Art Center in Walnut Creek. Parking was easy as there was a lot right next door for a $5 fee. Since the weather was rainey it was very convenient.
The performance was right on key with the one on Broadway. Over...continued
Sunset Boulevard weaves a magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition. Silent movie star Norma Desmond longs for a return to the big screen, having been discarded by tinsel town with the advent of ‘talkies.’ Her glamour has faded in all but her mind. When she meets struggling Hollywood screen-writer Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances, their subsequent passionate and volatile relationship leads to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion.
With Book and Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard boasts Lloyd Webber’s “most shamelessly and artfully constructed score, and offers two of his best songs in ‘With One Look’ and ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye.’” (Time Magazine). The writing team has reinvented Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic film noir as a romantic musical spectacle, adhering closely to the screenplay co-authored by Wilder. Praised by many critics when first released, the film, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won three.
Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation was first produced in London’s West End in July 1993, featuring Patti LuPone as Norma Desmond. The American Premiere opened in Los Angeles later that year, featuring Glenn Close. Ms. Close recreated her role for the Broadway Premiere in 1994, earning her a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress; the production garnered an additional 6 Tony Awards including those for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book of a Musical.
Due to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s now-legendary dissatisfaction with the casting challenges associated with the iconic leading role of Norma Desmond, licensing of Sunset Boulevard to regional theatre companies was delayed for nearly two decades. When performance rights became available in 2011, diligent negotiation with Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals resulted in CCMT earning the enviable honor of presenting the East Bay Premiere this season.
Casting of CCMT’s production generated an unprecedented level of interest among bay area performers. In the coveted leading role of Norma Desmond, CCMT is pleased to present Annemarie Martin. A native of Menlo Park and proud Actors’ Equity member, Ms. Martin has been performing in venues throughout the Bay Area and beyond for over 20 years.
In the leading male role, that of down-on-his-luck Hollywood screen-writer Joe Gillis, CCMT welcomes back Robert Lopez, who was last seen on our stage in the leading role of Roger in CCMT’s critically-acclaimed 2010 production of Rent. In the pivotal role of Joe’s love interest, Betty Shaeffer, CCMT presents Nicole Helfer in her third appearance for the company. Ms. Helfer appeared as Val in CCMT’s 2010 production of A Chorus Line and, most recently in the leading role of Audrey in this season’s opening production of Little Shop of Horrors. Rounding off the principal characters will be Gene Bencomo, in the role of Norma’s ex-husband and devoted protector Max.
About the Ticket Supplier: Contra Costa Musical Theatre
Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Inc. (CCMT) was founded in August 1961, for the express purpose of producing Broadway musicals. Since its opening in 1990, CCMT has performed exclusively at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. CCMT produces high quality regional theater, and our shows and artists working on our shows have been honored with numerous Bay Area Theatre Critic Circle and Shellie Awards — in fact, earning more Shellie Awards for musical theatre that any other company in the history of the Shellie Awards. CCMT celebrates both classic and contemporary musical theatre, presenting East Bay premieres of shows like Titanic: the Musical, The Full Monty, Urinetown and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which holds the record of the highest attended production of any event ever at the Lesher Center for the Arts. CCMT produces two full productions a year and partners with Center REPertory Company to offer a four-show musical season.