Was Streisand the first to sing the Sunset Blvd songs to the public?

Leadingplayer
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I just found some recordings of them from 1993. Was that before Patti opened? If so I'm guessing Patti wasn't happy.

Updated On: 5/8/12 at 02:14 AM
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Yes.
It's all in her memoir.
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Mildred Plotka
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The Sunset Boulevard in Patti's details this in length. I listen to the audio of this section when I need a good chuckle, is genius.
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Sort of. Elaine Paige did sing a song from Sunset Boulevard at Webber's wedding, I believe, but it was called "With One Glance" back then and it wasn't recorded.
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Was Sunset workshopped like other ALW musicals were? And if so, who did the workshop?

And yes, Patti was ticked off because when the Sunset box office opened, if a caller was placed on hold, they heard Streisand's version.
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^ Yes the show was workshopped at ALW's annual Sydmonton Festival. Patti was Norma Desmond.
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The musical score was premiered at ALWebber's Sydmonton Estate. According to reports, Patti Lupone sang the more complete version. It was also reported that Michael Ball sang in one of the stagings at Sydmonton. Michael did not debut the role of Joe Gillis at the West End but he was the first one to release a single of the title song. Maybe the recording by Barbra Streisand was not necessarily a slight on Patti?
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"Maybe the recording by Barbra Streisand was not necessarily a slight on Patti?"

Everything is a slight on Patti. Great stars have great pride.
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Patti wasn't allowed to sing anything from Sunset at her farewell concert in L.A. (the Live! recording). She then went to London and found out Streisand had recorded her two big numbers. Wouldn't you be pissed? I believe Lloyd Webber also said she'd be the first to introduce them to the public.
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I believe I'm correct in saying that the first Sydmonton Festival production of sunset was in 1991 with Ria Jones playing Desmond, well thats what it says in her bio and it was not successful, the next year they did a revised version with Patti which I hear was a whole lot better. I might be wrong in this though
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"I believe Lloyd Webber also said she'd be the first to introduce them to the public."

She was, at Sydmonton.

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Elaine Paige was the first to ever sing a song from Sunset Boulevard ... she sang "With One Glance" at the ALW-Madeleine Gurdon wedding.

Michael Crawford sang a few lines of a song called "One star, there is only one true star" (where he did it I cannot remember ... I heard it on youtube ages ago), and apparently it was supposed to be sung by Max, but was cut.
It had the same tune as Memory, so I'm not too sure how that worked.

Sarah Brightman recorded "Surrender" and the italian version of With One Look "Guardami" on her CD "Surrender" and that was in about 1994, so I guess she was (one of) the first to sing those two.

AND the original Sydmonton workshop was done by Ria Jones as Norma, Michael Ball as Joe, Frances Ruffele as Betty and (I can't remember who it was) as Max. The songs had different lyrics, but they were basically the same, except that Frances Ruffelle as Betty seemed to have a complete song all to herself (an early version of Girl Meets Boy)

I'm not a fan of Patti. Her autobiography (though interesting) was a bit over the top, I felt.
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Don't know who was the first to sing these songs to a public, but the "Back To Broadway"-cd contains With One Look and As If We Never Said Goodbye. It was the first time these songs were released to the general public - at least in Europe.
That cd was released before the London Cast Recording.

Streisand turned "Memory" into a huge hit worldwide, so I suppose it made good sense.


Updated On: 5/8/12 at 01:32 PM
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As others have said Elaine Paige was the first to sing a song from the show, which she did at the wedding in 91.
The first staging at Sydmonton was in August 91. It wasn't the whole show and it was different lyrics.
The cast included Ria Jones as Norma, Michael Ball as Joe, Frances Ruffelle as Betty and Kevin Colson as Max.
The year after(and with a different lyricist involved) it was re-staged at Sydmonton with Patti as Norma and Kevin Anderson as Joe. This was the show that then went into London in 93.
But the first recordings did indeed come from Michael Ball(Sunset Boulevard) and Barbra Steisand(With One Look and As If We Never Said Goodbye)

Updated On: 5/8/12 at 01:42 PM
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I have the DVD of Patti as Norma at the workshop at his Sydmonton Estate, i did not rate her in it at all.
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Who originally was set to do the lyrics? The lyricist credits for Sunset have always kinda baffled me...
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Weren't Barbra and ALW, at some point, talking about a film version? Maybe that was the reason why Barbra recorded Norma's showstopper songs then?
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Streisand sang "As If We Never Said Goodbye" as the opening song of her return to the stage Las Vegas, New Year's Eve show. I remeber at the time many people thought the song was written especially for her return since the lyrics fit her situation so much. Don't know where that concert fits on the timeline though.
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It seems like even before the Broadway transfer debacle that Webber wasn't the biggest fan of LuPone- from the Evita days onward. I wonder why he opened with her in London and had her contracted to do the Broadway run if he really didn't want her to do the show. Were Paige or Streisand unable/unwilling to open the show?
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Was Streisand the first to sing the Sunset Blvd songs to the public?

I remember Ms. Streisand saying the ALW sent her the entire "Sunset Blvd" score and told her take whatever you want. Around the same time Patti was told she could not sing any of the songs in her concert. I saw her concert, she was not pleased. I also saw Barbra's concert and the opener, "As If I Never Said Goodbye" was beyond incredible. Watch it on the DVD, there are not many moments like that. She is in a league of her own, Sondheim rewrites songs for her and I am sure she sells more recordings of them than anyone else.
Still, what was ALW thinking throughout of all this, from paying off Patti from not going to Bwy in the show to paying off Faye Dunaway for closing the LA production before she appeared he has millions of things to think about. But Faye Dunaway? His biggest mistake was saying to the press she sounded great one day and firing her shortly thereafter for not being able to sing the role.
Wasn't Carol Burnett available?

A friend who had seen Patti in the show in London flew to LA to see Glenn Close as Norma one night and Barbra in concert the next. He gets here and Barbra lost her voice and postponed all of those shows. Then Glenn collapsed during the performance the night before and was out of the show.

I took him to see Forbidden Broadway where in addition to seeing "Barbra" he got to see "Patti" as Max kill "Glenn" as Norma.

Ah show business!

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The Dunaway story supposedly was that the box office sales for her were terrible and the show would have shut down in a few weeks after she took over. Fearing the negative publicity of the show closing in LA as a box office failure just prior to the NY production....ALW blamed Faye Dunaway's performance and annouced he'd close it when Glen left. Basically throwing Dunaway under the bus. Rumors from the rehersals have always been that Dunaway followed in Close's shoes and "talk sang" the songs and her acting was excellent. After all she did win her court case against ALW.
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Which ever way you look at it, ALW handled the whole thing terribly. He shouldn't have taken on Faye Dunaway if he felt she couldn't do his score justice. And he would have known from the get-go whether or not she could pull off the score. He shouldn't have hired Patti if he had so little faith in her as a box office draw. His whole handling of his leading ladies is just bizarre.
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He should have had Cameron Mackintosh produce it!
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The key thing to remember is that Webber is a buisness man and Producer FIRST and a loyal friend second.

He gave the songs to Streisand because she was an ENORMOUS recording star and would drum up great attention and publicity for the show. It was mutually benefitial since she would get to premiere these songs. It wasn't an act of aggression or a slioght against Patti. It was just business (at least in his mind) that would help the show and ultimately Patti.

Patti did NOT get good reviews. Glenn did. Patti wasn't a movie star. Glenn was. Yes, it was a terrible movie to tell Patti one thing and the press another as well s breaking her Broadway contract (which he ultimately paid for in spades), but in his "buisness man" mind he was doing the best thing to make his show a bankable hit.

Not to defend him or his actions and he has a history of being dispiciable to people in the name of a dollar. He doesn't view it as personal. This is proven when he wanted Patti to play Carlotta in the "Phantom" film but had to be reminded that she hated him.
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nasty_khakis hit the nail pretty much on the head...

I've always found it remarkable that he gets beaten the way he does for being a shrewd business man, when plenty of other people in the very same business can be the exact same way- just not so publicly- Sondheim has had run ins with Buckley, Patti talks about how he basically dismissed her attempt to audition for the role of Dot in Sunday bc she wasn't right for the part vocally in his mind- Cameron Mackintosh can be an out right BITCH to work with, but when his shows are successful, all seems to be forgotten.

Sunset was a HIGHLY anticipated musical, based on one of the most highly regarded films of all time. Webber had been crowned the modern day king of the show tune, and we being reunited with his star of Evita- and- voila- the perfect storm! I'm sure if all parties involved had it to do over again, they all would have done things differently. But in the end- he made the decisions that were best for business- which is the primary difference between he and Mr. Sondheim- Webber is also Producer and the head of this company.

This was far from the first time that Webber had songs from an upcoming show recorded and released by a pop star- and I get that you don't get bigger than Barbra, but nonetheless, this was a common practice for him- so this should have come as NO surprise to Patti.

I contend that the more that she continues to run him into the ground, interview after interview and make claims that he is a drunk, into drugs and beat the dead horse- almost 20 years after the fact now- and he says nothing about her- eventually people are going to simply ask to hear a different tune. And if she is not able to let it go, it will only make him look better, which, he is not a sympathetic guy, but still- he keeps his mouth shut- even a broken clock is right twice a day... and Glenn got far better reviews.

As far as Faye Dunaway- who the hell knows what he was thinking! Although the headline of "Dunaway with" was priceless!