See Who's Joining Sarah Brightman in Australian Sunset Boulevard | Playbill

International News See Who's Joining Sarah Brightman in Australian Sunset Boulevard

Performances of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will begin in Melbourne in May.

Sarah Brightman Monica Simoes

Casting is now complete for the new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard that will begin performances at Melbourne's Princess Theatre May 21 followed by an engagement at the Sydney Opera House starting August 28.

The Phantom of the Opera's Sarah Brightman, as previously reported, will star in her first theatrical role in more than three decades, with the internationally acclaimed concert artist heading the cast as faded silent screen star Norma Desmond.

Brightman will be joined by the newly announced Tim Draxl as Joe Gillis, Robert Grubb as Max Von Mayerling, Ashleigh Rubenach as Betty Schaefer, Jarrod Draper as Artie Green, and Paul Hanlon as Cecil B. DeMille. Silvie Paladino will play Norma at select performances.

The ensemble will include Regan Barber, Amy Berrisford, Billy Bourchier, Campbell Braithwaite, Benjamin Colley, Grace Driscoll, Madison Green, Peter Ho, Leah Lim, Mary McCorry, Charlotte Page, Morgan Palmer, Caity Plummer, Taylor Scanlan, Tom Sharah, Lisa Sontag, Troy Sussman, Riley Sutton, and Dean Vince.

Brightman originated the role of Christine in Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera both in the West End and on Broadway and subsequently appeared in Aspects of Love. Since then, she has become the world’s best-selling soprano, with global sales of 30 million, more than 180 gold and platinum awards in over 40 countries, and over 1 billion streams worldwide.

"I am so delighted to be returning to Australia after many years, and to be marking my return to the stage in a musical after so long, it is only fitting for it to be with such an exquisite production as Sunset Boulevard. I have always admired Andrew’s work on this musical and I very much look forward to exploring the incredible score and also the iconic character of Norma Desmond. 'Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up!'," Brightman said in an earlier statement.

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The Australian production will be directed by Paul Warwick Griffin with set and costume design by Morgan Large, choreography by Ashley Wallen, and musical supervision by Kristen Blodgette.

Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's world-premiere production in London, earning an Olivier nomination for her performance. Glenn Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a Tony Award for her work as the aging actor. Other musical Normas include Tony winner Betty Buckley (London and New York), Olivier winner Elaine Paige (London and New York), Tony winner Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany), and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour). After bringing her Norma to London, Close starred in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunset, while Tony winner Stephanie J. Block played Norma in a production at the Kennedy Center.

The recent London revival, starring Nicole Scherzinger with direction by Jamie Lloyd direct, is Broadway-bound.

Sunset will be presented in Australia by GWB Entertainment and Opera Australia by arrangement with The Really Useful Group.

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