When the West End revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard begins performances at London's Savoy Theatre September 21, audiences will have the chance to catch the performances of two different Norma Desmonds.
As previously reported, the Jamie Lloyd-directed production will star Nicole Scherzinger as the ill-fated silent screen star Desmond. The production just announced that West End and Broadway star Rachel Tucker (Wicked, Come From Away, The Last Ship) will guest star as Norma, playing Monday performances beginning October 16 and continuing through January 6, 2024. Tucker will also play the leading role at the October 12 matinee.
Tucker says, “I’ve wanted to work with Jamie for a long time, and to collaborate with him on a brand-new version of one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best scores, whilst getting to play such an iconic role, is a career high for me.”
The production is scheduled to officially open October 12. Additional casting and creative team members will be announced.
Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard (with a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) is based on the 1950 movie of the same name, which featured Gloria Swanson as the reclusive Norma Desmond who falls in love with an unlucky writer—Joe Gillis—who happens upon her home by accident. William Holden played Gillis in the film, which was directed by the late Billy Wilder. Swanson, Holden, and Wilder all received Academy Award nominations for their work.
Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's world-premiere production in London, earning an Olivier nomination for her performance. Glenn Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a Tony Award for her work as the aging actor. Other musical Normas include Olivier winner Elaine Paige (London and New York), Tony winner Betty Buckley (London and New York), Tony winner Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany), and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour). After bringing her Norma to London, Close starred in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunset, while Tony winner Stephanie J. Block played Norma in a recent production at the Kennedy Center.
Scherzinger, who played Grace in Annie Live!, also voiced the character Sina in Disney’s Moana and starred in ABC's remake of Dirty Dancing.
The Jamie Lloyd Company production of Sunset Boulevard is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Michael Harrison for Lloyd Webber Harrison Musicals, Gavin Kalin Productions, and Wessex Grove.
The 16-week production marks the first presented by Lloyd Webber Harrison Musicals, the new joint venture by Lloyd Webber and Michael Harrison.
Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.