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Additional casting for Glenn Close-led Sunset Boulevard

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Additional casting has now been announced for the upcoming Broadway transfer of the London ENO production of Sunset Boulevard. Joining three-time Tony winner and six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close as Norma Desmond, will be her London co-stars two-time Olivier nominee Michael Xavier (Joe Gillis), Siobhan Dillon (Betty Schaefer) and Fred Johanson (Max von Mayerling).

Previews will begin at Broadway's Palace Theatre on 2 February 2017, before an offciail opening on 9 February and a limited 16-week engagement through to 28 May 2017.

Sunset Boulevard features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with book & lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. This production, directed by Lonny Price, will feature an on-stage 40-piece orchestra - the largest on Broadway.

Synopsis: "In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma's 'masterpiece', a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences. The musical is based on the 1950 film of the same name."

Next year, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be celebrated with the rare distinction of having four musicals running on Broadway at the same time: The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Cats and Sunset Boulevard.

Further casting and creative team information will be announced at a later date.

Sunset Boulevard opened to rave reviews at the London Coliseum on 4 April 2016. Click HERE to read the London Theatre Guide's review.

The musical premiered in London's West End in 1993, and earned Olivier Award nominations for Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. The production was directed by Sir Trevor Nunn and starred two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone. After various well-publicized law suits, Glenn Close took over the role of Norma Desmond as Sunset Boulevard premiered on Broadway in 1994, earning Ms. Close her third Tony Award and picking up seven Tonys in total.

Glenn Close made her Broadway debut in 'Love for Love' in 1974. She won Tony Awards for 'The Real Thing' in 1984, 'Death and the Maiden' in 1992 and, of course, for 'Sunset Boulevard' in 1995. She also received a Tony nomination for 'Barnum' in 1980. Other Broadway credits include 'The Rules of the Game,' 'The Member of the Wedding,' 'Rex,' 'The Crucifer of Blood,' 'Benefactors,' and most recently in 'A Delicate Balance' in the 2014-2015 Broadway season. She received Oscar nominations for "Albert Nobbs" in 2012, "Dangerous Liaisons" in 1989, "Fatal Attraction" in 1988, "The Natural" in 1985, "The Big Chill" in 1984 and "The World According to Garp" in 1983. She has also won 2 Golden Globes and 3 Emmys over her career. Other notable screen credits include "Mars Attacks!," Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," "The Stepford Wives," Disney's "Tarzan," and Disney's "101 Dalmatians."

Michael Xavier earned Olivier nominations for his performances in 'Love Story' and 'Into the Woods.' Other West End credits include Monty Python's 'Spamalot,' 'My Fair Lady,' 'Pageant,' 'The Pyjama Game,' and 'The Phantom of the Opera.'

Siobhan Dillon first rose to fame as a contestant on the BBC Casting show "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" Her West End credits include 'Ghost the Musical,' 'Grease,' 'Legally Blonde,' and 'Miss Saigon.

Fred Johanson previously appeared in the West End in 'Notre Dame de Paris' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'

- by Tom Millward

Michael Xavier & Siobhan Dillon in Sunset Boulevard

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