Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre to Present SUNSET BOULEVARD, Begin. 9/6
When The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre's producers were working on putting together the 2013 Season, they decided to include shows that were hits both on the stage and the silver screen. 2013 became the year that Broadway and Hollywood met at the Frederick dinner theater, the area's only theater open and producing shows 52 weeks of the year. Following Way Off Broadway's productions of Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5 - The Musical, and Legally Blonde, Way Off Broadway's creative team knew they needed to find the perfect show to fill the fall slot and cap off the "Broadway Meets Hollywood" Season before moving into the holidays.
Over the years, The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre has produced many stage shows that were first movies, including Mel Brooks' The Producers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray, and one of the first regional Theater Productions of The Wedding Singer.
Bill Kiska, Way Off Broadway's Executive Producer, knew the fall show needed to be a blockbuster. With a short list of musicals all vying to fill the final open spot in the season, everyone agreed that Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical based on one of the American Film Institute's top 100 best movies of all time was the only choice. With that Sunset Boulevard completed Way Off Broadway's 2013 Season.
"In a year when we were celebrating the combination of Broadway and Hollywood, we realized Sunset Boulevard had to be included," says Kiska. "It is the epitome of a movie turned musical. Not only that, the show is about the Golden Age of Hollywood."
Sunset Boulevard weaves a magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition as silent movie star Norma Desmond longs for a return to the big screen. Having been discarded by Tinsel Town with the advent of "talkies," her glamour has faded in all but her own mind. When she meets struggling Hollywood screen-writer Joe Gillis through dramatic circumstances, their subsequent passionate and volatile relationship leads to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion.
Billy Wilder's 1950 film version of Sunset Boulevard starred Gloria Swanson as the faded movie queen Norma Desmond. Forty-four years later, in 1994, Glenn Close brought Norma to life on the Broadway stage. In fact, when the show opened in New York, it did so with the highest advanced ticket sales in Broadway history (at that time). Following its New York opening, Sunset ran for nearly 1,000 performances and won a Drama Desk Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, and seven Tonys, including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical.
"Sunset Boulevard is one of our biggest undertakings," adds Jordan B. Stocksdale, Way Off Broadway's Creative Director and the show's music director. "The music is magnificent and the sets have to be just right so that the audience feels like they are going from a back lot at Paramount Pictures to Norma's mansion."
With all of the pieces coming together, Way Off Broadway's production of Sunset Boulevard opens on Friday evening, September 6th and runs until November 9th. The production will also mark the show's Frederick-area premiere.
Performances are every Friday and Saturday evening, with matinees on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of each month. Tickets for a Friday evening or Sunday matinee are $43; Saturday evenings are $47. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by visiting the Box Office or calling (301) 662-6600.