Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh in on SUNSET BOULEVARD at North Shore Music Theatre, Starring Alice Ripley

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Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh in on SUNSET BOULEVARD at North Shore Music Theatre, Starring Alice Ripley

North Shore Music Theatre presents Andrew Lloyd Webber's SUNSET BOULEVARD, starring Alice Ripley as the fading Hollywood star, Norma Desmond. The show runs through October 6.

Along with Ripley, the cast of SUNSET BOULEVARD will feature Nicholas Rodriguez (Broadway's Tarzan, NSMT's Jesus Christ Superstar '06 and Cinderella '05) as Joe Gillis, William Michals (Broadway's South Pacific and Disney's Beauty and the Beast, NSMT's Chicago '02) as Max Von Mayerling, and Lizzie Klemperer (Broadway's School of Rock, Bright Star, NSMT's Les Misérables '14) as Betty Schaefer, along with Kevin Massey (Broadway's A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder, Memphis, Tarzan, Big River, NSMT's A Christmas Carol '07) as Artie Green, and Neal Mayer (Broadway's Les Misérables, NSMT's World Premiere of Memphis '03) as Cecil B. DeMille

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Nancy Grossman, BroadwayWorld: Coming full circle, it has also been twenty-five years since Ripley last appeared at NSMT (Johanna in Sweeney Todd), and it seems fitting that her return is in the role that she has been preparing to play for the last quarter century. She has the rare combination of vocal and acting chops to don Norma's caftans and turbans, and wear them well. Ripley gives a mesmerizing performance that transports us to mid-century Hollywood and into the strange world of Norma Desmond on Sunset Boulevard.

Mark Allen Wood, Patch: The entire production fit perfectly into what kind of production NSMT has been able to accomplish this past year. Alex Ripley was able to fill the shoes of her role and play a great Norma Desmond along with her supporting cast who made this production marvel with the sound and the beauty of their voices. The show had a long first half but the second half was able to bring in all the excitement at the end so you were ready for the big ending which NSMT did get right.

Bill Brotherton, Item Live: Ripley, 55, may be playing a faded star, but her star blazes brightly here. She's on stage for nearly the entire show, and she's captivating in every scene. Her vocals are filled with emotion: the ballad "As If We Never Said Goodbye" will bring a lump to your throat. Ripley's acting skills are strong; her Norma can switch from loving and demure to needy and nasty in a split second. For much of the show, you're never quite sure if her Norma is causing drama and using emotional blackmail to selfishly keep Joe around or if she's delusional and mentally ill? The shocking climax will answer those questions.

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