@showsiveseen @Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" concert musical at Cornish Playhouse by Showtunes Theatre Company. Powerful excentric #diva portrayal from @billieville. Rich tenor from @Matthew Kacergis. #Epic songs followed by long applauses. #Glorious string section/score. Tragically beautiful story. I'm downloading the soundtrack! Review: showsiveseen.com/7875 Director: @kitchenskelly Music Director: Nathan Young Stage Manager: Aaron Alonso #sunsetBoulevard #showsiveseen #theatre #NormaDesmond #hollywood #AndrewLloydWebber ♬ original sound – The Kennedy Center
Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Sunset Boulevard concert musical at Cornish Playhouse by Showtunes Theatre Company. Powerful excentric diva portrayal from Billie Wildrick. Rich tenor from Matthew Kacergis. Epic songs followed by long applauses. Glorious string section/score. Tragically beautiful story. I’m downloading the soundtrack!
Synopsis from the Theatre: The plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street. When young screenwriter Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her return to the big screen, with romance and tragedy to follow.
Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 2/3/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Get your tickets now since this show’s entire run is only 4 performances!
Type: Musical performed as a concert
World Premiere: No
Several or Few Scenes: Several
Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several
Static (Stationary) Set? N/A – There was no set since this was a musical performed as a concert.
Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No, but you’d probably enjoy this more if you’ve either seen original the film or seen the full non-concert production of the original musical. However, I haven’t seen either and I still enjoyed this production. It just required a little more imagination than usual.
Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes
Live Band/Orchestra: Yes, a 25-person orchestra
Equity Actors: 5
Total Number of Actors: 23
Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium Speed
Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours
Was there an intermission? Yes
Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes
Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? Absolutely!
Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above
- Favorite Lines:
- Something like “If I lose my car, it’s like having my legs cut off.” What a poignant testament to American life especially in LA!
- “There’s nothing tragic about being 50, not unless you try to be 25.”
- Epic Songs: This musical was filled with epically-performed songs. I’m definitely downloading the soundtrack! The audience went wild with long applause and some standing ovation after the following memorable songs.
- “New Ways to Dream”
- “With One Look” – What a hook!
- “Sunset Boulevard”
- “As If We Never Said Goodbye”
- Score and Strings: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score allowed the orchestra string section to shine. The glorious overture reminded me of the high-quality orchestras that 5th Avenue Theatre is known for.
- Norma Desmond: It was a joy to watch Billie Wildrick dramatically portray the excentric melancholic diva Norma Desmond, clinging to sanity and delusional fantasy.
- Costumes: Despite this show being a concert version of a musical, Norma Desmond was still decked in glamourous statement pieces.
- Universal Themes: This beautifully tragic story was filled with several relatable themes. Norma Desmond painfully, desperately grasped for her youth and the glory of her past life. In an effort to preserve her sanity, she desperately clung to lies from others or lies from herself. Joe Gillis (played by Matthew Kacergis) struggled with the allure of riches and selling out. This show was a painfully alluring depiction of the human experience.
- Microphones: Sometimes, the microphones turned on a couple milliseconds too late. Additionally, I think some of the cast was also not mic’ed. I’m not sure if it was because of sound board operation or because they didn’t have the budget for more microphones.
Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)
- Career Continuity: Let this show be a cautionary tale to those temporarily taking a career sabbatical! When you come back, the workforce won’t welcome you with open arms.
- Memory Play: Norma Desmond’s introduction scene exhibited a fantastical element that reminded me of the memory play genre.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber: I try to attend shows with a blank slate knowing as little about the premise as possible. In fact, I typically only read the synopsis immediately before publishing my review. Throughout this musical, I kept thinking how it reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera like with the vibrato. Everything clicked when I discovered Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Sunset Boulevard. Speaking of The Phantom of the Opera, I definitely prefer Sunset Boulevard more. It doesn’t help that Phantom strikes me pumpkin-spiced basic.
- Showtunes Theatre Company Production Runs: It’s such a shame that Showtunes Theatre Company performances are typically only 1-2 weekends. But I it makes sense since musicals in concert format aren’t very mainstream.
Theatre Company: Showtunes Theatre Company
Venue: Cornish Playhouse
Venue Physical Address: 201 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109
Price: Cheap to Medium
Dates: February 3 to February 11, 2024
Seating: Assigned Seating
Parking: There are paid lots and paid street parking. I usually park on Mercer to the West of 1st Ave. There’s usually also plentiful street parking around Safeway. If there’s an event in Seattle Center or Climate Pledge Arena, street parking is usually limited and much more expensive.
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