MIDTOWN, Manhattan- The 1950 Academy Award winning film Sunset Boulevard is back in a big way. It’s the story of Norma Desmond, a fictional famous silent screen star, far past her glory days. Andrew Lloyd Webber first brought it to Broadway in 1994, starring Glenn Close. "I’ve lived 22 years of life since I last did it," Close explained on opening night. "So, when I went back, I decided to look at it with new eyes and the response has been incredible."
The actress took home a Tony Award for that performance and has now made a triumphant return. This time, she stars opposite Michael Xavier who plays Joe Gillis, a struggling screenwriter running from the mob. "Joe Gillis is a great creative writer," Xavier described. "I always try to avoid watching a character I'm about to play so I can take the character very much from the text, from the script itself and try not to have an idea of anyone else’s performance."
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show's composer, was a very big influences for Xavier growing up. "To get to work with him, it sounds corny, but it’s a dream come true. It really is!" he gushed. "You spend your teen years listening to all these shows in your bedroom and singing along to them and all of the sudden, you’re standing there with the person who wrote them, helping them either recreate or rework his great work. It’s an honor."
As for the mark Glenn Close has made on him? "She’s a legend of stage and screen and she can do it both," Xavier said. "There are very few actors that are great screen actors that can also do the stage but she can do it all. And to get to play with her and find those moments is almost as exciting as performing it in front of an audience every night."
Sunset Boulevard is currently showing at the Palace Theatre through June 25th.