Get a Sneak Peek at Morgan Large's Monochrome Set for Australian Sunset Boulevard | Playbill

Video Get a Sneak Peek at Morgan Large's Monochrome Set for Australian Sunset Boulevard

Sarah Brightman will head the cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Performances for a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard don't begin at Melbourne's Princess Theatre until May 21, but the show's designers are already at work.

In a new video released by the production, set and costume designer Morgan Large says, "[Since the musical is based on Billy Wilder's] black and white movie, we took that reference and turned all of Norma Desmond's world into a world of monochrome.… We have a few tricks up our sleeves that we can't wait to share with an audience." Watch the video above to hear more about Large's designs and get a first look at the set model for the upcoming staging.

The Phantom of the Opera's Sarah Brightman, as previously reported, will star in her first theatrical role in more than three decades, with the internationally acclaimed concert artist heading the cast of the Australian production as faded silent screen star Norma Desmond. Meanwhile, the recent, minimalist, Olivier-nominated London revival of Sunset, starring Nicole Scherzinger with direction by Jamie Lloyd, is Broadway-bound.

Brightman will be joined by Tim Draxl as Joe Gillis, Robert Grubb as Max Von Mayerling, Ashleigh Rubenach as Betty Schaefer, Jarrod Draper as Artie Green, and Paul Hanlon as Cecil B. DeMille. Silvie Paladino will play Norma at select performances.

The ensemble will include Regan Barber, Amy Berrisford, Billy Bourchier, Campbell Braithwaite, Benjamin Colley, Grace Driscoll, Madison Green, Peter Ho, Leah Lim, Mary McCorry, Charlotte Page, Morgan Palmer, Caity Plummer, Taylor Scanlan, Tom Sharah, Lisa Sontag, Troy Sussman, Riley Sutton, and Dean Vince.

Brightman originated the role of Christine in Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera both in the West End and on Broadway and subsequently appeared in Aspects of Love. Since then, she has become the world’s best-selling soprano, with global sales of 30 million, more than 180 gold and platinum awards in over 40 countries, and over 1 billion streams worldwide.

"I am so delighted to be returning to Australia after many years, and to be marking my return to the stage in a musical after so long, it is only fitting for it to be with such an exquisite production as Sunset Boulevard. I have always admired Andrew’s work on this musical and I very much look forward to exploring the incredible score and also the iconic character of Norma Desmond. 'Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up!'," Brightman said in an earlier statement.

READ: Sarah Brightman Finally Travels to Deepspace... in Mobile Video Game

The Australian production will be directed by Paul Warwick Griffin with set and costume design by Large, choreography by Ashley Wallen, and musical supervision by Kristen Blodgette.

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 Tony winner Betty Buckley (London and New York), Olivier winner Elaine Paige (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 production at the Kennedy Center.

Following Melbourne, the Australian production will play the Sydney Opera House starting August 28.

Sunset will be presented in Australia by GWB Entertainment and Opera Australia by arrangement with The Really Useful Group.

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