Debra Byrne & Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard

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MrMidwest
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This is wonderful.

Clips from opening night with Debra & Hugh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufiV1KqH0rg



Debra & Hugh - The Perfect Year
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
Updated On: 10/14/11 at 04:06 PM
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morosco
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My favorite Norma Desmond! (Debra...not Hugh.)
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Justin D
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Such a shame they scrapped plans for the cast album.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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noradesmond
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She's fabulous.
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ChiChi
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That is most definitely a cast album that should have been made.
Gypsy - Betty Buckley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUN5XoB5vFs&feature=youtu.be
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chewy5000
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She did a promo recording of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" if anyone wants it...
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
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morosco
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She also recorded "With One Look".
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mrcacou
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That rendition of "The perfect year" really moved me. Love the two of them.
In my heart, I found the answered dream, and in my soul I found the song, and in my friends I found the magic, the love, the moon up above- they were mine, all mine, all along..!
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castlestreet
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This production went through Hell because of Debra and her personal problems- she was going through a very nasty divorce, and if memory serves me correctly she was also battling some drug problems.

I know on one evening right at the end of Act I where Joe returns to a wrist slit Norma, she actually fainted in his arms on stage as the music swelled to an end, and the audience thought it was just a part of the show.

Its a shame because Debra and Diahann Carrol are the two Normas who actually got the most universal rave reviews of all the other Normas, including Close.
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alterego
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Debra Byrne is a greatly underused talent these days. Currently she is the bird woman in MARY POPPINS.
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morosco
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The day before the opening night the musical director/conductor of this production, Brian Stacey, was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
Wilmingtom
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I saw all of the Bway Normas, including Karen Mason, and Petula Clark in the tour and thought Paige was the best. She's the only one who had the slightest sense of humor. So sorry to have missed Byrne. She seems to have been wonderful.
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rosscoe(au)
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It's a pity that Maria Mercedes who was the understudy was never recorded. Those who had the pleasure of seeing her as Norma, will never forget it. She acted and sang the role like no one before. Debra was a train wreck.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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I have never been able to stand listening to Jackman singing Sunset Boulevard :-
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alterego
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...or Jackman singing anything.
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I second what you said about Maria. She did sing it with a fire like no one else had. She truly did ignite a blaze :)
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@alterego - Hah!

@castlestreet - Very interesting story. Any other details?
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I know it's not really related but it's of the same era but did anyone see the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat that played in Sydney and Melbourne in 98/99 with Barry Otto and Nancy Hayes? Did it do well? Was it any good?
Updated On: 12/27/14 at 11:52 AM
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imeldasturn
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Debra Byrne was a magnificent Norma, very fragile and very unique. I really adore her, she's such an often forgotten incredible actress! Hugh Jackman was fine too, the score fits his voice better than Les Mis (ehm-ehm)
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I don't know that lady, I saw Betty Buckley do the show. I thought the vocals on that clip were kinda unbearable and I wouldn't have been able to listen to that for the length of the show.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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Boy, this takes me back. The Australian production of SUNSET BLVD. definitely was plagued with problems that made the media coverage quite extensive during its short run. Though it was a limited engagement, it closed 4 months earlier than planned. It was later learned that though Debra Byrne was contracted for 6 performances a week, the producers never released this info so audiences assumed she did all 8 performances.

The first sign of problems came during rehearsals when Byrne fell down the staircase which was caused by dizziness from an inner ear infection. This caused her to miss endless rehearsals. She also missed performances so no one in the production knew who would be playing Norma at any given performance. Her divorce situation added to her missed performances as did her taking vacation time off to promote her album NEW WAYS TO DREAM.

Then there was that unknown musical theater performer Hugh Jackman just doing his job among the madness.
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Probably an offshoot of their being in SUNSET BOULEVARD together, is this recording by Debra and Hugh of NO ON IS ALONE/CHILDREN WILL LISTEN from a stage musical, now a current movie called INTO THE WOODS Debra Byrne & Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard

It was part of an album released by Debra called New Ways to Dream ( if I am not mistaken), a tribute to Sunset Boulevard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W14-bH2fWpo

Just an audio, but very poignant and wonderfully rendered!


Updated On: 12/27/14 at 06:07 PM
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I'm recovering from the last few days of celebrating and read this as:

David Byrne & Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard.

And it made me feel excited.

Well excited and scared.
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RaisedOnMusicals
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Didn't Betty Buckley get better reviews than Close? I'm not saying that as a fact, it's just my recollection, which might well be wrong.
CZJ at opening night party for A Little Night Music, Dec 13, 2009.
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castlestreet
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I haven't posted in forever, but saw this pop back up and ad to!

I also know from reading articles online that Debra was rumored to be battling some type of addiction at the time of the show and as someone else previously stated, she was going through a nasty divorce at the time.

There is a pretty decent documentary floating around out there about the show launching in Australia and the renovation of the theater it played it.

Remember that Sunset was supposed to be the next big megamusical, when megamusical's were already on their way out of vogue. The show had a very hard time sustaining anywhere where there was not a genuine star performance. The controversy caused by the LuPone vs. Close fiasco gave the Original Broadway run so much free press, that combined with pretty stellar reviews for Close in LA, it was no wonder the show banked a huge amount at the box office to start. I believe the show also closed ahead of schedule in Canada, Germany as stated, Australia.

Slightly off-topic, but if anyone is interested PM me- I think I am finally going to part with the portrait of Norma (Glenn) that hung over the staircase on Broadway. I have pictures of it and it is in Near Mint condition. I love it so much and paid good money for it, but it's a shame that it sits in storage!