Close, last on Broadway in the 2014 revival of “A Delicate Balance,” starred in the Broadway premiere of “Sunset Boulevard,” which was so highly anticipated at the time that it racked up legendarily massive advance sales. The new, semi-staged concert production, directed by Lonny Price and backed by a 40-piece orchestra, initially played earlier this year at London’s English National Opera, where it earned much acclaim.
The Broadway staging, which opens at the Palace Theater in February, adds another female formidable star to the 2016-17 season. The slate already encompasses upcoming performances from big names including Bette Midler (in “Hello, Dolly!”), Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole (both in “War Paint”).
On Broadway, “Sunset Boulevard” is produced by Paul Blake and Mike Bosner, two of the producers behind the successful Carole King bio-musical “Beautiful.” With book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, “Sunset Boulevard” will become the fourth Lloyd Webber musical running concurrently on Broadway, where it will join “The Phantom of the Opera,” “School of Rock” and “Cats” on the boards.
Close will play Norma Desmond, the unhinged silent-film star famously portrayed by Gloria Swanson in the Billy Wilder film on which the musical is based. The show’s 16-week run in New York begins previews Feb. 2 at the Palace, prior to a Feb. 9 opening.