Alice Ripley to play 'Norma Desmond' in NSMT's "Sunset Blvd"

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Alice Ripley, who created the role of Betty Schaeffer in the 1994 Broadway production of 'Sunset Boulevard' will take the lead as Norma Desmond in the North Shore Musical THeater production of the ALW musical. Nicholas Rodriguez ('Tarzan'Alice Ripley to play 'Norma Desmond' in NSMT's will play Joe Gillis. The show runs September 24 - October 6 in Beverly, MA . 

 

http://www.playbill.com/article/nicholas-rodriguez-and-more-will-join-alice-ripley-in-north-shore-music-theatres-sunset-boulevard

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Got my tickets! Been so looking forward to this. I love this venue and can’t wait to see Alice Ripley play a dream role!
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I wish this wasn't so far away from me!

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My only worry with Ripley playing the role is that her Norma will be so crazy and over-the-top to start, she’ll have no place to go.
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Lot666 said: "I wish this wasn't so far away from me!"

Where would you be coming in from?  It's worth a trip to New England that time of year - absolutely beautiful here, and the weather is usually comfortable. 

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I got my tickets a new months ago and am excited to see Ripley as Norma but I am worried about the venue and how they are going to do the mansion set.

 

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wiggum2 said: "I got my tickets a new months ago and am excited to see Ripley as Norma but I am worried about the venue and how they are going to do the mansion set."

Be prepared for the majority of the production to focus on the actors, rather than set design. The locations will most likely be "suggested" sets, using props and smaller unit pieces. I imagine there won't be fully-realized sets, due to the fact that this is an in-the-round performance space. 

They do have a central elevator lift in the stage which is used to raise certain pieces up and down, though.

Google Image "North Shore Music Theatre" to see numerous photos from some of their past productions.  That will give you an idea of what to expect.

Regardless, you're going to be witnessing Alice Ripley as Norma Desmond. A performance/production which will enter musical theatre folklore, simply based on the fact that it's HER playing THAT role. It will be magic.

Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts!

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sbflyfan said: "wiggum2 said: "Be prepared for the majority of the production to focus on the actors, rather than set design. The locations will most likely be "suggested" sets, using props and smaller unit pieces. I imagine there won't be fully-realized sets, due to the fact that this is an in-the-round performance space."

Well darn, that description doesn't particularly motivate me. sad The recent Broadway revival (which I saw multiple times and enjoyed) already used the "minimalist" approach, and to me, this is a show that cries out for visual opulence.

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Which is interesting, because as someone who has only seen that revival, I had no issue at all with the minimalist approach, as the show seemed more about the person playing Norma and it didn’t really matter what the set was in most scenes.
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It's just the nature of and limitation of that particular performance space. I'd go see Alice Ripley perform Norma Desmond on an empty stage, even with no costumes or makeup.

Looks like they did build some scaffolding for their production of "Jersey Boys," so maybe there will be a suggested framework for the mansion.  But I'd be prepared for the minimalist approach.

Either way, allow your imagination to fill in the rest, and enjoy!!

"I'm seeing the LuPone in Key West later this week. I'm hoping for great vocals and some sort of insane breakdown..." - BenjaminNicholas2

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For such a short run, I wouldn't expect anything too crazy. 

The only "insider info" I know, is that they cast a body double for Joe.

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RippedMan said: "The only "insider info" I know, is that they cast a body double for Joe."

That's curious.

 

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Yeah he doesn’t speak or sing or anything.
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SouthernCakes said: "Yeah he doesn’t speak or sing or anything."

Maybe he's going to fall in the pool.

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Having seen many productions here I can tell you they make very good use of the entire theater. ..there are many entry steps and during Miss Saigon and CHess they had people entering and exiting throughout the theater using the steps...I am sure that will be how they have Norma enter..(I don't see them building a staircase or scaffolding ..but they do seem to think of unique ways to use ever bit of the space...you will not be disappointed …..as far as Alice Ripley..it seems so gimmicky for her to do this...she also did Carrie as Mrs. White...she seems to be following Betty Buckley roles...and she isn't half as good ..having seen clips of Carrie (she was awful ...her voice was shot and off key....and hearing her sing As If we never said goodbye,...which she screams and again off key. and overacts ..so expect crazy from the jump.....I don't think she will be a good fit for this...she  seem to think you have to sing full force and as loud as possible all the time...the only time I heard her that I liked her was her harmonies with Emily Skinner , ..I hope she is good...but don't see it..

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Photo Flash: Alice Ripley Stars In North Shore Music Theatre’s SUNSET BOULEVARD

She looks great! I’m really interested the layout of the set/staging.

Performances began Tuesday, anyone see it yet?

I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.
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GiantsInTheSky2 said: "Photo Flash: Alice Ripley Stars In North Shore Music Theatre’s SUNSET BOULEVARD

She looks great! I’mreally interested the layout of the set/staging.

Performances began Tuesday, anyone see it yet?
"

It looks like a staircase and some chandeliers. Nothing like the original Bway production!

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zainmax said: "GiantsInTheSky2 said: "Photo Flash: Alice Ripley Stars In North Shore Music Theatre’s SUNSET BOULEVARD

She looks great! I’mreally interested the layout of the set/staging.

Performances began Tuesday, anyone see it yet?
"

It looks like a staircase and some chandeliers. Nothing like the original Bway production!
"

Its a local production thats being done in the round and only playing for 3 weeks, what did you expect? 

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I wish I could go to this!

The first time I ever saw SB, it was the first London revival (starring Kathryn Evans) with a small stage and a tiny spiral staircase. I loved it.
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Mike Barrett said: "zainmax said: "GiantsInTheSky2 said: "Photo Flash: Alice Ripley Stars In North Shore Music Theatre’s SUNSET BOULEVARD

She looks great! I’mreally interested the layout of the set/staging.

Performances began Tuesday, anyone see it yet?
"

It looks like a staircase and some chandeliers. Nothing like the original Bway production!
"

Its a local production thats being done in the round and only playing for 3 weeks, what did you expect?
"

Not saying there's anything wrong with it. Responding to previous poster's comment.

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Perhaps Mr Rodriguez should never wear anything above the waist as nothing seems to fit.

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Just watched the BWW video preview and Alice Ripley's performance seems....in a word....off. I'm sure someone else will be able to better articulate their feelings but it just seems campy in a bad way.

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FANtomFollies said: "Just watched the BWW video preview and Alice Ripley's performance seems....in a word....off. I'm sure someone else will be able to better articulate their feelings but it just seems campy in a bad way."

I see what you may be picking up on. There’s a playful spark more reminiscent of Petula Clark than Gloria Swanson but it is just a short video montage. It’s impossible to judge a full performance based on that.

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I love me some Alice but she looks like she's playing Joan Collins

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I find Ms. Ripley's pronunciation of certain words, particularly "dream", to be off-putting.

Mr Rodriguez seems to have a good voice, but they should fire his costume designer.

Mr. Michals is the standout to me.

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