Broadway Come From Away and Next to Normal alum Pearl Sun leads ACT of Connecticut's Sunset Boulevard with performances beginning October 26. Opening night is October 28, and the run will continue through November 19. ACT Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine directs.
Joining Sun in the cast are Michael Burrell as Joe Gillis and Helen J. Shen as Betty Schaefer, along with 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 features 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," said Levine in an earlier 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 Betty Buckley, Elaine Paige, Linda Balgord, and Diahann Carroll, among others. A Broadway revival concert staging played the Palace Theatre in 2017. A new minimalist revival staging is currently playing London's West End, with Nicole Scherzinger starring as Norma and Jamie Lloyd directing.