UPDATE, noon with more information throughout.
EARLIER: As if she never said good-bye, Glenn Close is ready for her close-up — again. After weeks of rumors, Close announced today that she’ll reprise the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard on Broadway in the wake of knockout reviews for a London revival by the English National Opera. The 16-week engagement of the ENO production is slated to begin performances February 2 at the Palace Theatre, with opening night February 9. Lonny Price also repeats as director.
Based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 Oscar winner starring Gloria Swanson, the musical features Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. Close won a Tony Award for her performance as the one-time silent-film star turned bonkers recluse. The musical, staged by Trevor Nunn, had its world premiere on the West End in 1993, with Patti LuPone originating the role and expecting to bring it to New York. Close top-lined the show’s U.S. premiere in Los Angeles, however, and wowed the critics, prompting Lloyd Webber to buy out LuPone’s contract for a reputed $1 million so that Close could head up the Broadway run. In a season offering little competition, Sunset Boulevard swept the Tonys, wining seven in all including Best Musical.
Although the revival is not being produced by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group it will give the composer/impresario his fourth show running concurrently on the Main Stem, joining The Phantom Of The Opera, Cats and School Of Rock — The Musical.
The new production will boast a grand-opera size 40-piece orchestra, producers Paul Blake and Mike Bosner said in announcing the production this morning. Details, including the full cast, will be announced shortly.