Connecticut's A Contemporary Theatre will open its sixth season with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, with performances beginning October 26 and continuing through November 19. ACT Artistic Director and Broadway alum Daniel C. Levine is directing.
Leading the production as faded silent film star Norma Desmond will be Broadway Come From Away and Next to Normal veteran Pearl Sun, along with Michael Burrell as Joe Gillis and Helen J. Shen as Betty Schaefer.
The company will also include William Aaron Bishop, Pragun Bhardwaj, Claire Fossey, Jasmine Gobourne, Gary Harger, Amanda Hunter-Finch, Conor McGiffin, Victoria Madden, Matthew Marvin , Val Moranto, Mac Myles, Daniel Pahl, Emily Solo, Liz Schmitz, Will Stone, and Andrew Winans.
Based on the 1950 Billy Wilder film, Sunset Boulevard follows the reclusive Norma Desmond who plans a triumphant return to screen stardom and the young writer she's taken under her wing to doctor her screenplay. With music by Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, the musical adaptation includes such favorites as "With One Look," "As If We Never Said Goodbye," and the title song.
ACT's production will feature music supervision and direction by Bryan Perri, choreography by Sara Brians, scenic design by David Goldstein, costume and wig design by Kurt Alger, lighting design by Charlie Morrison, sound design by Marisa J. Barnes, and makeup design by Angelina Avallone. Casting is by The Casting Collaborative, and Brendan McCann is prop supervisor.
"I have wanted to direct Sunset Boulevard for quite some time, and I am extremely excited for this show to open ACT of CT’s 6th season," says Levine in a statement. "Sunset Boulevard is a remarkably sophisticated musical with unforgettable and complex characters and a score that is totally thrilling. Our cast, led by the incomparable Pearl Sun, is second to none, and I can’t wait for our audiences to experience this exquisite show. With a cast of 19 actors and an orchestra of 11 musicians, our Sunset Boulevard is going to be a stunning and unforgettable production."
The musical originally premiered in London's West End in 1993 with Patti LuPone starring. It crossed the pond by way of a Los Angeles run in 1994 with Glenn Close in the lead. The role has since been played by a string of musical theatre divas, including Elaine Paige, Betty Buckley, Linda Balgord, and Diahann Carroll, among others. A Broadway revival concert staging played the Palace Theatre in 2017. A new revival staging is set to hit London's West End later this year, with Nicole Scherzinger starring as Norma and Jamie Lloyd directing.