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SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.- Page 12

SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.

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chewy5000
#275SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 12:04am

This production is formally presented as "Opera Australia & GWB Entertainment, by arrangement with THE REALLY USEFUL GROUP"

Some context: the theatre in Melbourne that Opera Australia use for their Melbourne seasons is currently closed for refurbishment, and so they are having to try alternative programming and special events at other theatres to try and keep the money coming in. To make things worse, they had expected the refurbishment to begin a year earlier than it did and so have already forgone one season of regular programming, and so a lot of their traditional patrons are already a bit upset. They do occasionally include musical theatre in their repertoire, however these are often done in conjuction with 'for-profit' commercial producers. So a large scale, more commercially oriented production with a headline star made a lot of sense on paper...

Ensemble1716440075
#276SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 7:24am

I wonder who in the world had the idea of asking her...she was never known for her acting abilities, and her voice doesn't match others who have done this role. Her personality does reflect Norma in some ways, with how she is the perpetual ingenue.

I've seen people describe her as taking the role in another direction, being very delicate/fragile...sorry, but I think that's baloney. It's her default setting.

tomwsjr
#277SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 10:46am

Is anyone really surprised that Sarah isn’t up for the role?  Some people are making her out to be a theatre icon, which she most definitely is not.  I saw her in Phantom and yes her voice was lovely, but acting wise/stage presence, it had to be the worst performer I’ve ever seen on Broadway in all my 44 years of avid theatre going.  

BorisTomashevsky
#278SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 1:51pm

Sylvie did the Saturday evening as well. 
At this rate, anything about Sarah performing should be described in the past tense if-and-when she comes to work. All these “Sarah will be back tonight” expectations only lead to her NOT actually showing up. 

pmensky
#279SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 2:52pm

Ensemble1716440075 said: "I wonder who in the world had the idea of asking her...she was never known for her acting abilities, and her voice doesn't match others who have done this role. Her personality does reflect Norma in some ways, with how she is the perpetual ingenue.

I've seen people describe her as taking the role in another direction, being verydelicate/fragile...sorry, but I think that's baloney. It's her default setting.
"

The person who had the idea was probably aware of the fact that she played three leading ladies in three ALW musicals on the West End, two of which she also played on Broadway. I imagine those statistics plus her being a record breaking, internationally beloved vocalist gave them the idea that she would have the ability to play another leading lady in another ALW musical. I’m sure ALW himself was consulted and also gave his blessing. This is all common sense. I don’t understand  how people are wondering how this could have happened. 

123musicalfan
#280SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 4:36pm

Ensemble1716440075 said: "I wonder who in the world had the idea of asking her...she was never known for her acting abilities, and her voice doesn't match others who have done this role. Her personality does reflect Norma in some ways, with how she is the perpetual ingenue.

I've seen people describe her as taking the role in another direction, being verydelicate/fragile...sorry, but I think that's baloney. It's her default setting.
"

 

My belief is that the reason she was asked to do it (and why she accepted) is because of her association with ALW. She has appeared in the original London cast of two of his longest running musicals (Cats and POTO, which is still running), the original Broadway production of POTO (longest running Broadway musical so far), was in Aspects on both sides, Requiem, Song and Dance, did multiple Music of ALW tours all over the world (including Australasia with Anthony Warlow), recorded multiple albums of ALW's music over the years (including one titled 'Surrender' of all things), has appeared in many concerts of his music, and in addition, was not only married to him, but has been called his 'muse' and 'Angel of music', and he has been vocal about the fact that she was the inspiration behind his longest running and best known musical. 

It's not surprising that producers of the show would have  thought it a brilliant idea to cast her. Leave aside her personal success as a (non theatre) performer with her albums/concerts/other endeavours, the sheer magic of her connection with ALW would have been a very enticing prospect. 

As far as she is concerned, I'm sure she discussed with ALW who would have been thrilled and would have decided to go ahead. I know she enraged some people when she said the score was written for her, but I feel what she meant was that ALW wrote a lot of the music while they were married, and that she would have tried them out. With One Look, as ALW said, was written for her, around her voice for the Little mermaid, As Is If We Never Said Goodbye I think was written for Cricket initially, which would have been while they were married. She was also (i believe) the first to recorded things like Surrender, Too Much in Love to care, The Perfect Year in her albums.

To be fair to to Sarah, she hadn't shown a lot of interest in returning to musical theatre. She said in an interview in 1999 (this was before one of her big tours) that she hadn't bought any cast recordings for a couple of years, because she was listening to a different type of music and her life was going another way. In a Graham Norton radio interview a few years ago that her favourite musicals are the old school Rodgers and Hammerstein shows, and that the extent of her theatre-going is to watch the revivals at the Kennedy Center, in addition to a few other shows.  

So it was probably a very excited director/producer that decided to cast her in it. I can see that ALW would have been thrilled (there is no noise from hims however, probably busy with Starlight Express ... I always felt he might go for the opening on Sydney if the production goes ahead) at the prospect of his muse singing his music again. 

 

 

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joevitus
#281SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 7:15pm

tomwsjr said: "Is anyone really surprised that Sarah isn’t up for the role? Some people are making her out to be a theatre icon, which she most definitely is not. I saw her in Phantom and yes her voice was lovely, but acting wise/stage presence, it had to be the worst performer I’ve ever seen on Broadway in all my 44 years of avid theatre going."

Thank you. I'm absolutely baffled. 

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joevitus
#282SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 7:19pm

123musicalfan said: "Ensemble1716440075 said: "I wonder who in the world had the idea of asking her...she was never known for her acting abilities, and her voice doesn't match others who have done this role. Her personality does reflect Norma in some ways, with how she is the perpetual ingenue.

I've seen people describe her as taking the role in another direction, being verydelicate/fragile...sorry, but I think that's baloney. It's her default setting.
"



My belief is that the reason she was asked to do it (and why she accepted) is because of her association with ALW. She has appeared in the original London cast of two of his longest running musicals (Cats and POTO, which is still running), the original Broadway production of POTO (longest running Broadway musical so far), was in Aspects on both sides, Requiem, Song and Dance, did multiple Music of ALW tours all over the world (including Australasia with Anthony Warlow), recorded multiple albums of ALW's music over the years (including one titled 'Surrender' of all things), has appeared in many concerts of his music, and in addition, was not only married to him, but has been called his 'muse' and 'Angel of music', and he has been vocal about the fact that she was the inspiration behind his longest running and best known musical.

It's not surprising that producers of the show would have thought it a brilliant idea to cast her. Leave aside her personal success as a (non theatre) performer with her albums/concerts/other endeavours, the sheer magic of her connection with ALW would have been a very enticing prospect.

As far as she is concerned, I'm sure she discussed with ALW who would have been thrilled and would have decided to go ahead. I know she enraged some peoplewhen she said the score was written for her, but I feel what she meant was that ALW wrote a lot of the music while they were married, and that she would have tried them out.With One Look, as ALW said, was written for her, around her voice for the Little mermaid, As Is If We Never Said Goodbye I think was written for Cricket initially, which would have been while they were married. She was also (i believe) the first torecorded things like Surrender, Too Much in Love to care, The Perfect Year in her albums.

To be fair to to Sarah, she hadn't shown a lot of interest in returning to musical theatre. She said in an interview in1999 (this was before one of her big tours) that she hadn't bought any cast recordings for a couple of years, because she was listening to a different type of music and her life was going another way. In a Graham Norton radio interview a few years ago that her favourite musicalsare theold school Rodgers and Hammerstein shows, and that the extent of her theatre-going is to watch therevivals at the Kennedy Center, in addition to a few other shows.

So it was probably a very excited director/producer that decided to cast her in it. I can see that ALW would have been thrilled (there is no noise from hims however, probably busy with Starlight Express ... I always felt he might go for the opening on Sydney if the production goes ahead) at the prospect of his muse singing his music again.




"

I think this is a very lovely post. I've no affection for Brightman (nor antagonism), but I love your post. The one thing I would disagree with--and you aren't the first to say this--but I don't get any impression that Lloyd Webber was thrilled with her playing the part. Because he's been stone-cold silent the entire time and didn't show up for the opening. I'm not saying his against the casting or has any issue with Brightman. Just that the impression it gives me is that he's fairly indifferent about the whole thing.

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Jordan Catalano
#283SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/22/24 at 8:09pm

I just got an email from the show saying tomorrow all tickets are only $72 for 72 hours and the photo they use in the email is of their Joe, not Sarah. Very telling. 

Patti LuPone FANatic Profile Photo
Patti LuPone FANatic
#284SARAH BRIGHTMAN To Star in Australian SUNSET BLVD.
Posted: 6/27/24 at 7:58am

How is the show's box office?  I took a looksey at the Sunset Boulevard Australian website.  Silvie Paladino is listed as "Norma Desmond at certain performances".  https://youtu.be/b-EhnTibDhk?si=itXXL5Hi5t2QJYfT


"Noel [Coward] and I were in Paris once. Adjoining rooms, of course. One night, I felt mischievous, so I knocked on Noel's door, and he asked, 'Who is it?' I lowered my voice and said 'Hotel detective. Have you got a gentleman in your room?' He answered, 'Just a minute, I'll ask him.'" (Beatrice Lillie)
Updated On: 6/27/24 at 07:58 AM

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shomeika
#285SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 8:36am

On Sarah's insta, there is a post stating that "she (Sarah) is recovering from a calf injury which is currently preventing her from performing as scheduled"


Clint. Atlanta,GA

BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
#286SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 8:53am

SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury


Ensemble1716440075
#287SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 11:38am

Bizarre. I didn't think Norma was that physical a role.

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
#288SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 11:41am

If it’s all true, the staircase would be a problem. I guess. 
At least it’s being addressed and they seem to be intent on her doing the Sydney portion of the run. I really want more definitive wording on that before rebooking everything, though. 

AEA AGMA SM
#289SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 11:55am

Ensemble1716440075 said: "Bizarre. I didn't think Norma was that physical a role."

Injuries can happen no matter the size or physicality of the role. A slight trip or stumble, especially on a set with multiple stairs and platforms, and you can mess up your body in all sorts of ways. Or it could be something that happens outside of the show. Step off a curb wrong and you can severely sprain an ankle, break a foot, damage your Achilles tendon, or multiple other injuries, any of which can still take you out of a show.

BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
#290SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 12:02pm

Ensemble1716440075 said: "Bizarre. I didn't think Norma was that physical a role."

It is when you’re climbing up and down that insane staircase AND while wearing heavy costumes.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury


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shomeika
#291SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 12:36pm

This states she has already been out for two weeks thus far.     https://www.theage.com.au/culture/musicals/star-missing-from-blockbuster-musical-for-two-weeks-fans-disappointed-20240625-p5johj.html


Clint. Atlanta,GA

GiantsInTheSky2 Profile Photo
GiantsInTheSky2
#292SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 12:54pm

BrodyFosse123 said: "Ensemble1716440075 said: "Bizarre. I didn't think Norma was that physical a role."

It is when you’re climbing up and down that insane staircase AND while wearing heavy costumes.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
"

Insane? It looks to be less than 25 steps, and not even as steep as the original staircase was. 


I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.

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FANtomFollies
#293SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 12:58pm

GiantsInTheSky2 said: "BrodyFosse123 said: "Ensemble1716440075 said: "Bizarre. I didn't think Norma was that physical a role."

It is when you’re climbing up and down that insane staircase AND while wearing heavy costumes.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
"

Insane? It looks to be less than 25 steps, and not even as steep as the original staircase was.
"

She's 63 and would be required to go up and down multiple times per show, often in dim lighting. As someone else mentioned - an injury can happen to anyone at anytime, often doing something very mundane. You don't have to like her but have a little compassion.

Updated On: 6/27/24 at 12:58 PM

GiantsInTheSky2 Profile Photo
GiantsInTheSky2
#294SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 1:04pm

I have compassion for all of those factors, I don’t disagree with any of your points. 
 

Calling those stairs “insane” is quite a reach. 


I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.

BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
#295SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 1:25pm

There are stairs behind the set she also needs to climb up and down as well. Sheer INSANITY, especially for someone who doesn’t look to be one who works out regularly and is in tip top shape. 


pmensky
#296SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 2:53pm

Norma’s costumes for the show are always heavy. I saw the original Broadway production several times, and one of my teachers during the summer of 96 was Karen Mason, the Norma standby. She was going on for a week while Betty Buckley was shooting a Lifetime movie, and she invited me to go backstage when I went to see her. The silver dress she wears for New Ways to Dream was sitting in a laundry bin on her dressing room floor. She said it weighed 50 pounds and told me to pick it up. I could barely lift it off the ground. Both Buckley and Lupone have also talked about the stairs being treacherous in more than one interview. I’m not sure if that stage for the Australian production is raked, but if so, that could also be contributing to her issues.

CreatureKitchen
#297SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 3:58pm

This isn't specifically relevant to this production or set design, but Betty Buckley recently gave an interview that she needed knee replacement and shoulder surgery partially due to the toll Sunset Boulevard took on her body. 'Imaginary' Star Betty Buckley Talks Potential Broadway Return (variety.com)

Patti LuPone FANatic Profile Photo
Patti LuPone FANatic
#298SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 8:07pm

Theatrefanboy1 said: "I truly wonder what the chances are we get the Brightman SUNSET revived on Broadway versus the Nicole SUNSET. I think I’d prefer the Brightman revival. This truly excites me"

I agree with you.  A bare bones production of Sunset Boulevard is disappointing to many fans of the classic production.  


"Noel [Coward] and I were in Paris once. Adjoining rooms, of course. One night, I felt mischievous, so I knocked on Noel's door, and he asked, 'Who is it?' I lowered my voice and said 'Hotel detective. Have you got a gentleman in your room?' He answered, 'Just a minute, I'll ask him.'" (Beatrice Lillie)

BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
#299SARAH BRIGHTMAN - injury
Posted: 6/27/24 at 9:07pm

Patti LuPone FANatic said: "Theatrefanboy1 said: "I truly wonder what the chances are we get the Brightman SUNSET revived on Broadway versus the Nicole SUNSET. I think I’d prefer the Brightman revival. This truly excites me"

I agree with you. A bare bones production of Sunset Boulevard is disappointing to many fans of the classic production.
"

Hardly. I saw the original Broadway production of SUNSET BOULEVARD during its original run countless times with each cast change. I also saw the 1st Nat’l Tour with Linda Balgord several times as well. I obviously loved it for everything it was - lavish and over-produced extravagance. Am I excited for this new re-imagining by Jamie Lloyd? Absolutely! It’s refreshing to see new interpretations of classic work. The original has been done. It did its time. This new interpretation isn’t replacing anything. It’s just a new vision. Same as the 1996 Encores! Concert staging of CHICAGO that’s still playing. The original 1975 Broadway production of CHICAGO was vibrant with an enormous revolving 2-tiered set and bizarre period costumes and this stripped-down concert-style revival has never replaced it. It’s simply a reimagining, which obviously many found refreshing when it first opened and continues to keep audiences going to see it. 

 



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