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Did Kevin Anderson get fired from Sunset Blvd with Patti Lupone?

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David10086
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I cant believe its been 27 years since Sunset Blvd opened with Lupone and Anderson in London. We all know what happened to Lupone, but what happened to Anderson? Was he fired at the end, or was he never contracted to transfer to Broadway?

Lupone has mentioned in interviews that he wasnt treated well by ALW, but never gets into specifics. She always says its Anderson s story to tell. But has he ever told his story of what happened at the end? Did he stay till the very last performance in March 1994, or did he leave before?
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imeldasturn
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In Nothing like a Dame Patti says that "Kevin was fired" and comments that "that's not talked about". Anderson didn't get particularly good reviews in London so I don't think he was ever meant to cross over: several critics in the States pointed out that Alan Campell sang the role better, although his acting wasn't the best. At Patti's last performance on March 12th 1994 the role of Joe was played by Gerard Casey, so Kevin must have left even before Patti did. 

Updated On: 7/10/20 at 07:03 PM
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A different perspective comes from this interview from September 1997, after Kevin's accident:

"Anderson received some of the best reviews of his career for his portrayal of Joe Gillis, the kept lover of aging film star Norma Desmond, in the 1993 London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard." As Anderson sang of the cynical, cutthroat world of Hollywood, life imitated art when Lloyd Webber locked star Patti LuPone out of the New York production and hired Glenn Close instead. It was a very nasty, public affair. "I was caught in the middle of all that," Anderson said. LuPone went public with her rage; her co-star quietly took himself out of the loop.

"I realized that all the people in my life, agents, managers, lawyers -- people I paid to represent me and take care of me in times of duress -- didn't care. I felt completely abandoned at the point in my life when I needed them most," he said.

"I fired everybody and jumped on my motorcycle."

 

 

To be honest, I suspect he might have been fired, none of the beef involved him personally and he was probably making good money as the male lead of a much talked about production, so it doesn't make much sense that he left because of the Adelphi's bad vibes and if he resigned in solidarity with LuPone he would be the first in show business. The article hyperbolizes Kevin's reception in London and he might be taking some liberties too. I think Patti mentioned he was fired in some other interview as well.

Updated On: 7/10/20 at 07:08 PM
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imeldasturn said: "...several critics in the States pointed out that Alan Campell sang the role better, although his acting wasn't the best."

Ain't that the truth. Granted I saw Sunset Blvd. on Broadway a few times as a young babe and thought that Alan Campbell was pretty dishy but had a moment a few years ago when listening to the American Premiere Recording where I thought to myself, "God, that is a terrible line reading, Joe," several times in the first act.

If anyone can further elaborate on why Kevin Anderson and his amazing head of hair didn't make the trip across the pond, please let us know.

 

 

 

 

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TotallyEffed
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I can’t bear the American recording. Kevin and Patti are so much better.
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I have never met Kevin Anderson but Patti told me he was fired along with her.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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I wish the recording with Patti and Kevin was the final version of the show. There are so many odd first draft moments that made it on record and were later improved for the American Premiere Recording, especially the finale. There basically is no finale on Patti's album. The show just ends.

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I listened to the London recording a lot when it first came out, and I loved Kevin Anderson. In my opinion, he captured the cynical, jaded, blasé character perfectly, and I wish I could have seen him with Glenn and Betty. Alan Campbell was meh, on the recording and on stage. His delivery was just too cheesy for me.

Updated On: 7/11/20 at 10:05 PM
jo
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Interesting that the title song was released ( ahead of the London cast recording) by Michael Ball, which according to insider sources was an initiative from Andrew Lloyd Webber himself.  Michael sang the role of Joe in the initial Sydmonton unveiling of the score...there was early speculation that he was doing the role before Kevin was announced for it.  

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Dollypop said: "I have never met Kevin Anderson but Patti told me he was fired along with her."

He left the show in London months before Patti & from what I remember reading in that (Shawshank Redemption) Evening Standard article quoted above he stated that he removed himself from the toxic environment of Sunset Boulevard in support of his co-star’s treatment (and his own mental health) - effectively ruling himself out of the Broadway run. A shame as he was head and shoulders above any other London Joe & I could never bear listening to Alan Campbell on the American recording. Kevin’s vocals by the end were significantly stronger than those on the OLC album and previews. I can’t stress how great he was in all regards - Truly New York’s loss. (Though I’d say that about LuPone’s Norma as well).

 

Updated On: 7/10/20 at 10:34 PM
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CATSNYrevival said: "I wish the recording with Patti and Kevin was the final version of the show. There are so many odd first draft moments that made it on record and were later improved for the American Premiere Recording, especially the finale. There basically is no finale on Patti's album. The show just ends."

I agree with you 100% - the finale is really no finale at all. It's a dud.

And I agree with everyone - Anderson (and his head of hair) is so much better than Alan Campbell (whom I did see in NY with Buckley). Anderson comes across as the somewhat humble, yet sexy Joe Gillis.Cambell isn't sexy in the role at all - he's way too arrogant and self-assured. 

Thank You all for the responses. I wish there were more interviews with Anderson to understand whatever really happened to him in the show. In the years since, it seems as though he never did much on Broadway either. 

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Two words why I prefer the American cast recording. Judy Kuhn. Okay maybe four more words: Every Movie's a Circus.
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You had Kevin Anderson’s obnoxious take on Joe Gillis versus Alan Campbell comedic take on Joe Gillis.

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I saw the LA production prior to its move to Broadway with Judy, Allan and Glenn.  Having heard the London recording, I'm glad I saw Alan.  I thought he was perfectly fine in the role.   And IMO, Kevin Anderson really didn't outshine him.  Some may prefer him, but I thought AC was very good in the role.  And I don't see Joe Gillis as a humble character at all.  So if KA played him that way, I wouldn't have liked that.  He isn't self-assured at all, but he's pretending to be, hence the contrived cockiness.  I think Campbell's take is better.  

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I wasn’t a fan of Kevin’s take on the role. I found him to be monotone and had no emotion in his delivery. I much preferred Allan’s performance. I couldn’t listen to the London recording because of Kevin
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Anyone who's ever met (or worked with) Patti knows that it's best to take whatever she says with a grain of salt. That being said, I recall her writing about Anderson in a rather snide, backhanded way in her memoir. To paraphrase, it was essentially: Poor Kevin. He thought what happened to me wouldn't happen to him. Fired or not, his motorcycle accident and subsequent recovery would have rendered it impossible for him to open the New York production.

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I was never a fan of Alan Campbell on the OBCR. When I saw the show with Betty Buckley, thankfully he was out and I got to see Bryan Batt in the role.



"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
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Thank you for sharing this - a beautiful duet between these two. Confirms my feeling he’s the better Joe Gillis.
jo
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Always loved TOO MUCH IN LOVE TO CARE!

Here's another version --  please click on the link.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=hugh+jackman+too+much+in+love+to+care&refig=185047faecf74fff86522f82da204ba0&sp=1&qs=HS&pq=hugh+jackman+&sk=PRES1&sc=8-13&cvid=185047faecf74fff86522f82da204ba0&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dhugh%2bjackman%2btoo%2bmuch%2bin%2blove%2bto%2bcare%26form%3dANSPH1%26refig%3d185047faecf74fff86522f82da204ba0%26sp%3d1%26qs%3dHS%26pq%3dhugh%2bjackman%2b%26sk%3dPRES1%26sc%3d8-13%26cvid%3d185047faecf74fff86522f82da204ba0&view=detail&mmscn=vwrc&mid=2B6D284CDD4759CDFFB22B6D284CDD4759CDFFB2&FORM=WRVORC

Trevor Nunn cast the actors who played Joe Gillis presumably in the early run. I wonder who his preference was for casting the role on Broadway?

Later on, he cast the Australian production ( see above link) -- and discovered Hugh Jackman. He later cast him in Oklahoma! for the then RNT. 

 

 

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If we're going to go on a detour, I'll do my part: "Sunset Boulevard" (Hugh Jackman)

Someone above mentioned seeing Bryan Batt understudy and I'm jealous (and I've tried to find "audio" of that for years). John Barrowman had his fans, did anyone manage to see him? I can't say I've been too impressed by what I've found.  Anyone see Ron Bohmer on the ill fated tour?

To bring it back to the topic of this thread and the decade I came of age in, here's Kevin Anderson and Julia Roberts trying on hats in a cutesy montage from Sleeping with the Enemy: "Brown Eyed Girl"

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I saw John Barrowman twice -- the first one was with Betty Buckley and the second one was with Elaine Paige, both in London.

It was the musical itself which enthralled me - love this score... and I thought both stagings that I had seen were well-performed.

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Wildcard said: "I wasn’t a fan of Kevin’s take on the role. I found him to be monotone and had no emotion in his delivery. I much preferred Allan’s performance. I couldn’t listen to the London recording because of Kevin"

Neither Anderson nor LuPone come off well on that recording. They both appear to phone it in. 

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scripps said: "If we're going to go on a detour, I'll do my part:"Sunset Boulevard" (Hugh Jackman)

Someone above mentioned seeing Bryan Batt understudy and I'm jealous (and I've tried to find "audio" of that for years). John Barrowman had his fans, did anyone manage to see him? I can't say I've been too impressed by what I've found. Anyone see Ron Bohmer on the ill fated tour?

To bring it back to the topic of this thread and the decade I came of age in, here's Kevin Anderson and Julia Roberts trying on hats in a cutesy montage from Sleeping with the Enemy:"Brown Eyed Girl"
"

 

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Yes, I saw Ron Bohmer in the ill-fated tour; he was excellent.
But he was magnificent in the 1992 tour of Aspects of Love.