Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece ‘Sunset Boulevard’ comes to Bay Area for first time

SUNSET BOULEVARD originally illuminated the silver screen in 1950.

Annmarie Martin plays Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Joyce Goldschmid.
Annmarie Martin plays Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Joyce Goldschmid.

In Summary
  • SUNSET BOULEVARD opens November 6, 2010 at the Lucie Stern Theater in Palo Alto.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber in collaboration with Don Black and Christopher Hampton moved their production to Broadway in 1994. SUNSET BOULEVARD would go on to win seven Tony Awards.
  • In what is the first San Francisco Bay Area mounting of this heralded musical, Palo Alto Players’ production of SUNSET BOULEVARD brings this masterpiece to life with an all new cast and local talent.
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Annmarie Martin plays Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Joyce Goldschmid.
Annmarie Martin plays Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Joyce Goldschmid.

Palo Alto Players continues their 2010-2011 season with a musical masterpiece written by one of the cornerstone composers of musical theatre Andrew Lloyd Webber. SUNSET BOULEVARD opens November 6, 2010 at the Lucie Stern Theater in Palo Alto, with a paid preview on November 5, 2010. Tickets are now on sale by ordering online at paplayers.org or calling (650) 329-0891.

She’s still big, It’s the pictures that got small. And now, Norma Desmond—that paragon of Hollywood’s silent screen goddesses—is ready for her close-up on our stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most lushly melodic score. SUNSET BOULEVARD weaves a mesmerizing tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition when this legendary silent film star has a fateful meeting with struggling Hollywood screenwriter, Joe Gillis. The consequences are passionate, volatile and breathtakingly spectacular.

SUNSET BOULEVARD originally illuminated the silver screen in 1950. Billy Wilder, along with Charles Brackett, and D.M. Marshman Jr. wrote the classic film noir masterpiece which included the all-star cast of William Holden and Gloria Swanson. It was not until July 12, 1993 that SUNSET BOULEVARD took the stage at the Adelphi Theatre in London starring the iconic Patti LuPone as Norma Desmond. The wildly talented Andrew Lloyd Webber in collaboration with Don Black and Christopher Hampton moved their masterful production to Broadway in 1994, the musical masterpiece known as SUNSET BOULEVARD would go on to win seven Tony Awards, and would continue to win awards with its melodic scores, its passion, and heart-wrenching drama.

It was in 1968 that Webber created his first masterful work Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and it was two years later that Jesus Christ Superstar took the stage. 1976 was another big year for Webber as the powerful, and moving Evita entranced audiences everywhere only to be followed by the enticing Cats. In 1986 Webber released what is known today as the longest running Broadway show to date The Phantom of the Opera. Webber continues to make his mark in the musical theatre community, and the world. He currently holds four Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe, one Academy Award, seven Tony Awards with an additional nine nominations.

In what is the first San Francisco Bay Area mounting of this heralded musical, Palo Alto Players’ production of SUNSET BOULEVARD brings this masterpiece to life with an all new cast and amazing local talent. Local musical director Matthew Mattei makes his directing debut with Palo Alto Players. Mattei has been the resident musical director at Palo Alto Players for eight plus years and is “honored to be given the opportunity and challenge of such an iconic piece.” “One of the biggest challenges,” says Mattei “is keeping the integrity of the original movie and iconic aspects of the musical while putting our own stamp on the piece. What draws me to this material is the sheer glamor of Hollywood in the 1940s, the show’s storyline combined with the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber.”

SUNSET BOULEVARD

November 6 through November 21, 2010.

There is a paid preview performance on Friday, November 5, 2010.

The curtain lifts at 8:00pm Thursday through Saturday and 2:30pm on Sundays.

Ticket prices are $23 for the Friday preview performance; $32 for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees; and $34 for Opening Saturday Gala on November 6, 2010.

Following the opening night performance, the audience is invited to join the cast and crew for a gala reception with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Students and seniors receive a $4 discount for Thursday and Sunday performances. Special discounts of 20-25% for groups of 12 or more are also available.

For all ticket services call 650-329-0891. SUNSET BOULEVARD tickets can also be purchased live online at paplayers.org 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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