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Musical research: Sunset Boulevard (1991)

In this piece of research I plan to research the musical, ‘Sunset Boulevard’ to stretch my musical theatre knowledge.

The show revolves around a beautiful but now declined star of the silent screen, Norma Desmond. She is trapped in the past as well as being set in her ways much like her decaying mansion. Once she has accidentally met a handsome yet struggling young screenwriter named Joe Gillis, Norma wants to attempt to accomplish a comeback to the big screen. She spoils  Joe with gifts and soon falls in love with him. However, she is devastated when Joe leaves her for young Betty Schaefer. In a fit of shock and rage, Norma shoots Joe as he attempts to leave her home on Sunset Boulevard.

The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber,
The book and the lyrics were written by Don Black.
It was first produced in 1991 and it is set in 1940’s America more specifically, Hollywood.

Characters:

Norma Desmond: A faded, eccentric, former silent screen star.
Joe Gillis: a struggling young screenwriter.
Max von Mayerling: Norma’s first husband and butler.
Betty Schaefer: A budding writer and Joe’s love interest.
Cecil B. DeMille – the famous director.
Artie Green – Betty’s fiancé .
Sheldrake – a movie producer on the lot.
Manfred – an expensive tailor.
Productions:
1991, 1992 Sydmonton Festival
1993 West End
1993 Los Angeles
1994 Broadway
1996, 1998 US tour
2001 UK tour
2008 West End revival
2015 Czech Republic – Ostrava
2016 Denver
(not completed)

 

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