Glenn Close is once again ready for her Broadway close-up. The three-time Tony winner will return to the role of Norma Desmond, the faded silent-movie star planning a delusional big-screen comeback in Sunset Boulevard.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will play a limited 16-week engagement early next year at the Palace Theatre, beginning previews Feb. 2 ahead of an official Feb. 9 opening night.
Directed by Lonny Price, the English National Opera production was first seen to great acclaim in London earlier this year. It will feature a 40-piece orchestra, the largest on Broadway.
Based on the classic Billy Wilder film that starred Gloria Swanson and William Holden, the show features a score by Lloyd Webber with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.
The musical originally premiered in London’s West End with Patti LuPone as Norma in 1993, running for four years. Following a debut U.S. engagement in Los Angeles starring Close, the production moved to Broadway in 1994 with history-making advance sales of $37.5 million. It won seven Tony Awards, including for best musical, book, score and lead actress.
Producers Paul Blake and Mike Bosner will head the Broadway run by special arrangement with Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. Additional casting is to be announced, including the key roles of struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis, who gets roped into Norma’s comeback plan, and her fiercely loyal butler, Max.
The return of Sunset Boulevard gives Lloyd Webber the rare coup of having four musicals running on Broadway at the same time, including The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock and Cats.
Close was last on Broadway in a 2014 revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. In addition to Sunset Boulevard, she received Tony Awards in 1984 for The Real Thing and 1992 for Death and the Maiden, and was nominated in 1980 for Barnum.