This semi-staged version originated in London, where I saw it in April last year.
Glenn Close herself made an announcement before the show over the public address system to ask the audience for their indulgence given that she was “battling a cold.” It was indeed a little painful to see her struggle with the score, but it didn’t prevent the audience from going wild every time she was on stage. (Close’s understudy is Nancy Anderson, who’s a lot younger. I would have liked to see her take on the role.)
The production looks tighter and rather more fluid than in London. Michael Xavier seems to have found his pace; his performance was more convincing. As in London, most of the pleasure comes from hearing one of Lloyd Webber’s best scores played by a decent-sized orchestra.
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Book & lyrics by Don Black & Christopher Hampton.
Directed by Lonny Price. Musical direction: Kristen Blodgette. With Glenn Close (Norma Desmond), Michael Xavier (Joe Gillis), Siobhan Dillon (Betty Schaeffer), Fred Johanson (Max von Mayerling), …