Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Based on the Billy Wilder Film Sunset Boulevard
Directed by Eric Schaeffer
Starring Florence Lacey
Produced by Signature Theatre
You remember the silent screen goddess Norma Desmond in the original movie. You remember the zingers Gloria Swanson spat out with lips never quite meeting over voracious teeth. When the down at the heel screenwriter comes upon her in her big neglected house with the unhappy look, and he says, “You used to be in silent pictures — You used to be big”, she shoots back, “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”
How big or small has Director Eric Schaeffer made this story refitted for the Signature stage? How does Florence Lacey, who plays Norma Desmond, fill the Hollywood star’s shoes and at the same time make it her own?
When you adapt a book to the stage you imagine it visually and arrange and interpret the material to the “two hours traffic of our stage.” When you adapt a film – and in particular a film noir vehicle for an aging siren — do you go for more than an impersonation? Do you go for the “small” real moments behind the melodrama and, if so, how has Christopher Hampton handled the job? Or do you go for spectacle, and in that case can anyone create “big” enough for Andrew Lloyd Webber?
To learn more or to order tickets, go to http://www.sig-online.org/sunset-blvd.htm
Join us in our blog and let us know what you think of the choices, “big” and “small.”