‘Sunset Boulevard’ musical is ready for its close-up at the Kennedy Center

WTOP's Jason Fraley teases 'Sunset Blvd' at Kennedy Center (Part 1)

Filmmaker Billy Wilder made countless classics from “Double Indemnity” (1944) to “The Lost Weekend” (1945), “Some Like it Hot” (1959) to “The Apartment” (1960), but if you had to pick just one masterpiece, it’s probably “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson, who delivered the iconic line, “I’m ready for my close-up.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical version opening on London’s West End in 1993, before winning a whopping seven Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best Musical and Best Leading Actress for Glenn Close.

There’s just two nights left to catch it at the Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as it ends its weeklong run from Feb. 1 to 8.

Based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Wilder, Charles Brackets and D.M. Marshman Jr., the Tony-winning book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton follows struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis, who arrives at the decaying Hollywood mansion of delusional former silent-film actress Norma Desmond, who remains a star only in her own mind.

The 2023 tour stars Tony winner Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show”) as Norma Desmond, Tony nominee Derek Klena (“Jagged Little Pill”) as Joe Gillis, Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”) as Betty Schaefer and Grammy winner Nathan Gunn as Max Von Mayerling, a role that won a Tony for George Hearn as Best Featured Actor in the original cast.

The Tony-winning score by Webber, Black and Hampton features the song “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” which has since been recorded by Barbra Streisand and Elaine Paige.

The original Broadway show also won Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design (John Napier) and Best Lighting Design (Andrew Bridge), adding dimension to a production that you don’t want to miss at the Kennedy Center before it leaves town later this week.

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley teases 'Sunset Blvd' at Kennedy Center (Part 2)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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