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"Sunset" to Settle on L.A. Shores Again

Sunset3As the highlight of its 6Oth anniversary season, Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, California, will offer the first Southern California-produced staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit London and Broadway musical, "Sunset Boulevard," since the show made its American premiere here at the now-defunct Shubert Theatre  in Century City in 1993, starring Glenn Close.  Its only other performances here have been in touring editions.

Many will remember the knock-down-drag-out legal  battles Webber had with both Patti LuPone (the show's original London star, who was replaced during the London run) and Faye Dunaway (dismissed from the L.A. production prior to its opening).  There's plenty of  sturm-und-drang drama in the musical as well, which is based on Billy Wilder's classic film about a reclusive former film star hoping for her comeback.  The show has received mixed reviews along the way, but it boasts one of Webber's finest scores and provides a to-die-for role for a gifted and mature musical theater diva.  Such luminaries as Elaine Paige, Petula Clark, and Betty Buckley (and  of course Gloria Swanson in Wider's 1950 film)  have tackled this iconic role. Who will headline this highly anticipated new production?   We'll have to wait a while to find out. Opening is set for July 12, 2013.

SoCal Stages_blogOther offerings revealed for  the upcoming MTW season will stick to the tried and true, but the titles are highly appealing: "42nd Street" (October), Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" (February, 2013) and "A Chorus LIne" (April, 2013).   Rounding out MTW's current season, following the current smashing production of "Man of La Mancha" (which closes this weekend) are "Forbidden Broadway, Greatest Hits: Volume 2" (opening April 13) and a major Broadway hit opening June 29. It  apparently still  remains officially unannounced, due to a  licensing agreement. Hint: the title encompasses the name of a certain canned luncheon meat that's been popular for 75 years.  Also, this tuner is as zany as can be and it's set in Medieval England. Can you figure it out?

--Les Spindle

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