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Musical Version of Sunset Boulevard is Becoming a Movie (Probably for Christmas 2018)


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I wonder what took so long.    I saw the play and Glenn Close,  as well as the overall production,  were great.       

 

I think musicals are coming back into vogue a bit among the production heads, after La La Land and the run of successful live TV musicals in the last few years.

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In unrelated remake news, I read this morning that there's a new version of Papillon coming soon. The 1973 film is a personal favorite, and in my opinion Steve McQueen's best acting performance.

 

This new version stars Charlie Hunnam from TV's Sons of Anarchy in the McQueen role, and Rami Malek from TV's Mr. Robot in the Dustin Hoffman role.

 

papillon-hunnam-malek.jpg

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Before it came to the U.S., I saw the original London West End production of Sunset Boulevard, which starred Patti LuPone. She was terrific, but she somehow fell out with ALW and left the production, which was re-written and recast about that time.

 

LUPONE,+P.+SUNSET+BLVD.-L.jpg

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Hope this happens as I certainly look forward to finally seeing Glenn's performance as Norma.

 

Friends had invited me to Los Angeles, from Texas, in May of 1994 to see Barbra Streisand's concert in Anaheim.  The day after I arrived it was announced that Streisand had laryngitis and the concert was postponed to July.  Major disappointment as this trip had been planned for months in advance.  

 

My buddies had a surprise for me, that took a bit of the sting out of not seeing the concert, tickets to see "Sunset Boulevard" starring Glenn Close, which had been running in Los Angeles since December.  I arrived at the theater anticipating Glenn's performance after hearing glowing reviews.  As the show was about to start it was announced that Glenn Close had laryngitis and was unable to appear in that evening's performance!  I could not believe it, the trip was a bust!

 

I did stay and see "Sunset Boulevard" that evening with Glenn's standby, Karen Mason, who was actually fantastic as Norma Desmond.  I read that Karen Mason continued as standby when the show went to Broadway (she is pictured below).  Wonder what she's doing today?  

 

Karen_as_Norma_Desmond_-_Paramount_outfi

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Glad you all liked SUNSET as a musical, that speaks to the strength of the original story.

 

I just cannot imagine making that story into a musical except on a camp or parody level, along the lines of ROCKY HORROR. It just seems exploitative of the original story, which struck me as dark & tragic for all principle charactors.

 

Then again, there's a lot of talent on Broadway, so many innovative artists who can update & create modern masterpieces. (Wagner's "Ring" comes to mind) Just Webber isn't one of them.

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This is good news for me! I love the musical, but rarely get to see a live show. I've had this particular show on my bucket list for ages it seems. I've worn out my CD of the original soundtrack with the wonderful Patti LuPone.

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In unrelated remake news, I read this morning that there's a new version of Papillon coming soon. The 1973 film is a personal favorite, and in my opinion Steve McQueen's best acting performance.

 

This new version stars Charlie Hunnam from TV's Sons of Anarchy in the McQueen role, and Rami Malek from TV's Mr. Robot in the Dustin Hoffman role.

 

 

I'm unfamiliar with both of those actors, but as the '73 original is also a favorite of mine, I might give this remake a look, mostly due to the story.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Gloria Swanson knew that a musical would be written about her film. She even met with Andrew Lloyd Weber when negotiations to create the work first began in its talking stage.  A previous notion by another composer thought of it and Gloria did sing some of the songs herself on a lost recording but it never came to be.

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In unrelated remake news, I read this morning that there's a new version of Papillon coming soon. The 1973 film is a personal favorite, and in my opinion Steve McQueen's best acting performance.

 

 

I look forward to this musical.

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I look forward to this musical.

 

It's going to be one of those "jukebox musicals" featuring a single pop artist's songbook, and in this case it will be the songs of Australian hard rockers AC/DC.

 

It should be extraordinary, much like the upcoming musical version of A Man for All Seasons starring Ralph Fiennes as Sir Thomas More and Jack Black as King Henry VIII, featuring the songs of REO Speedwagon.

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Gloria Swanson knew that a musical would be written about her film. She even met with Andrew Lloyd Weber when negotiations to create the work first began in its talking stage.  A previous notion by another composer thought of it and Gloria did sing some of the songs herself on a lost recording but it never came to be.

 

Yes, she tried to get it launched in the late 50s, but Paramount wouldnt release the rights. A score was written and there is a recording of it with Gloria singing. I think Paramount initially agreed to it, then changed their minds and that was that. A huge disappointment for Gloria at the time as she envisioned another comeback.........

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Yes, she tried to get it launched in the late 50s, but Paramount wouldnt release the rights. A score was written and there is a recording of it with Gloria singing. I think Paramount initially agreed to it, then changed their minds and that was that. A huge disappointment for Gloria at the time as she envisioned another comeback.........

A bigger issue was that William Holden had trouble singing while submerged. They probably should have hired Paul Winchell.

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Oh, whew, they're NOT making it because of "Meryl Streep needs more musicals, so she can get nominations!" Oscar-voodoo.

 

And yes, Close as Norma Desmond has become one of those "signature" Broadway roles you have to film, like when they made the Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick "Producers" for a movie.

I only saw the touring version with Petula Clark as Norma, and she was pretty good, although I could see why Sunset became "the last big Andrew Lloyd Webber musical we all still cared about".

 

TIkiSoo

Glad you all liked SUNSET as a musical, that speaks to the strength of the original story.

I just cannot imagine making that story into a musical except on a camp or parody level, along the lines of ROCKY HORROR. It just seems exploitative of the original story, which struck me as dark & tragic for all principle charactors.

 

It depends on whether you hear Close (and not Clark) singing the One Big Classic Webber Tune from the show, as Norma returns to the studio after thirty years, not knowing they only wanted her car:

 

So no, it's not a Carol Burnett sketch with ALW tunes.

 

It should be extraordinary, much like the upcoming musical version of A Man for All Seasons starring Ralph Fiennes as Sir Thomas More and Jack Black as King Henry VIII, featuring the songs of REO Speedwagon.

 

Actually, Richard Rodgers already had that covered, but "Rex" was one of his many musicals that never became hits after Oscar Hammerstein was gone:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_(musical)

And, ironically, check out who got one of her early stage roles in that musical.

 

(So...Who's next to make the same variation on the same cheap joke?  Step up, step up!) :P

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Yes, she tried to get it launched in the late 50s, but Paramount wouldnt release the rights. A score was written and there is a recording of it with Gloria singing. I think Paramount initially agreed to it, then changed their minds and that was that. A huge disappointment for Gloria at the time as she envisioned another comeback.........

I hate that word! It's a return.  :lol:

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I saw Sunset Boulevard in London, with Patti LuPone, in 1993. A version of the show was presented in 1992, at ALW's Sydmonton Festival, which is on the grounds of his estate. 

 

Here are three versions of Patti singing "With One Look," the first at the 1992 festival, the second in 1993, during the London premiere season. Sorry -- bad video, but the talent comes through.  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRn82V7yAX0

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZIWJBQvjXU

 

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Pseudo-elitist snobbery is certainly alive and well on this thread.

 

 

Still, when I mentioned seeing the show to a Broadway-fan friend, and said I thought that Webber seemed to have reduced his recent shows to just reprising the same three big songs over and over, he practically sprayed his drink in agreement.

Apparently, he'd sat through Webber's "Aspects of Love", and I hadn't.

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