Tim Draxl performs Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic ‘Sunset Boulevard’ before its premiere this week

Prepare to be enthralled by the lavish new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning masterpiece, Sunset Boulevard. Starring the internationally renowned Sarah Brightman, this much-anticipated revival is set to open in Melbourne next week at the iconic Princess Theatre. The production commences on Tuesday, May 21, with the official opening night scheduled for May 29.

Exclusive Performance Preview

We have just received exclusive footage of Tim Draxl performing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic song ‘Sunset Boulevard.’ Draxl’s portrayal of Joe Gillis is captivating, bringing a fresh intensity to this beloved musical number. This sneak peek offers a glimpse into the stunning production values and extraordinary talent that audiences can expect from this revival.

Watch Tim Draxl’s performance below:

 

 

A Stellar Cast and Orchestra

Marking her triumphant return to the theatre after over three decades, Sarah Brightman will take on the role of Norma Desmond, the iconic character that propelled Glenn Close to Broadway stardom and earned Nicole Scherzinger an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical in the West End. Brightman will be joined by the critically acclaimed Australian actor Tim Draxl, who will portray Joe Gillis. Draxl follows in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman, who last played the role on stage in Australia in 1996.

The stellar cast also includes stage and screen veteran Robert Grubb as Max Von Mayerling and the emerging talent Ashleigh Rubenach as Betty Schaefer. Musical theatre performer Jarrod Draper will play Artie Green, while established theatre actors Paul Hanlon and Troy Sussman will take on the roles of Cecil B. DeMille and Sheldrake, respectively. The role of Norma Desmond will also be performed by the remarkable Silvie Paladino at select performances.

The ensemble cast is equally impressive, featuring talents such as 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, Riley Sutton, and Dean Vince.

Adding to the production’s grandeur, a 16-piece orchestra, which recently joined the company for the Sitzprobe, will bring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spectacular score to life. Final touches are being made to costumes and lighting, with the cast perfecting their choreography in preparation for the grand opening.

A Rich Legacy and Dazzling Revival

Based on the Billy Wilder film, the musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard had its world premiere at London’s Adelphi Theatre on July 12, 1993. It premiered in the United States later that year, starring Glenn Close at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles before moving to Broadway in November 1994. The original Broadway production set a record for advance ticket sales and went on to win six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book.

This newly imagined revival, presented by Opera Australia and GWB Entertainment in collaboration with The Really Useful Group, features stunning sets and costumes that evoke the glamorous Golden Age of Hollywood. The thrillingly atmospheric score includes hits like ‘With One Look,’ ‘The Perfect Year,’ and the anthemic ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye.’

Creative Team and Production Insights

The creative team behind this revival is led by director Paul Warwick Griffin, with set and costume design by Morgan Large. Choreography is by Ashley Wallen, and musical supervision is by Kristen Blodgette. This revival promises to captivate audiences with its magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition. The story follows the legendary silent movie star Norma Desmond, discarded by Hollywood with the advent of ‘talkies,’ and her passionate, volatile relationship with struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis, leading to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion.

A Theatrical Event Not to Be Missed

Sunset Boulevard is set to be the theatrical event of the year, captivating audiences with its timeless story and unforgettable music. Following its Melbourne run, the production will move to the Sydney Opera House from August 28, 2024. Don’t miss the chance to witness this spectacular revival—get your tickets now and prepare to be transported to the dazzling world of Sunset Boulevard.

Tickets are on sale now at sunsetmusical.com.au.

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