It’s as if Glenn Close never said goodbye to Sunset Boulevard, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical for which she won a Tony Award in 1995. The actress is back in the Broadway revival as Norma Desmond, the faded silent-movie star planning a delusional big-screen comeback.
“I’ve played the role, lived life and applied my craft for 22 years!” she told reporters during Thursday’s opening-night bash at Cipriani.
Though feeling “very different” in the role this time around, Close commented that the stage show — based on the 1950 Billy Wilder film that starred Gloria Swanson and William Holden — is still too timely regarding how middle-aged women are viewed and valued in Hollywood.
“I don’t think things have really changed — it’s a story that I don’t think will ever lose its relevance,” she explained. “As an woman [who is] much older, I work pretty steadily, but the quality of the parts for somebody my age is not streaming out of Hollywood. You look to cable; you look to independent film which are scraping for money to tell stories that you can really believe in. As far as Hollywood studios, I don’t think it’s changed much. I would love to be disabused of that.”
Therefore, Close hopes to see a feature film version of the Sunset Boulevard musical, which has been rumored to be in the works. “I hope they’ll want to make it into a movie,” she said. “It’s not the kind of thing they’d leap to make, but I think it’d be incredible.”
Sunset Boulevard features a score by Lloyd Webber with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. Directed by Lonny Price, the English National Opera production was first seen to great acclaim in London earlier this year. It features a 40-piece orchestra (the largest on Broadway) and also stars Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon and Fred Johanson.
Sunset Boulevard runs through June 25 at the Palace Theatre.