|Cast of Sunset Boulevard raising money |
for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
I'm beginning my review with this information because the seats and the price I paid both greatly increased my enjoyment of Sunset Boulevard. I haven't yet spent $299 or more for a theatre ticket--and I don't know that I ever will--but paying such a large amount of money has to influence a person's response to a show, whether for good or ill.
I enjoyed Sunset for $55. At $299, it would have pissed me off.
Granted, Glenn Close's performance is extraordinary. Perhaps even priceless.
But worth $299? Not to me. (When I try to imagine what I might pay $299 for, I come up with things like Judy Garland in Gypsy. Ain't gonna happen.)
The show just isn't that good. Most of the sections that focus on Norma, Joe (Michael Xavier), Max (Fred Johanson), and Betty (Siobhan Dillon) are strong, particularly as played by this excellent cast. But the parties and other filler scenes are tedious. Many of the songs are indistinguishable from each other and dozens of other Lloyd Webber creations. The choreography is lame. The scenery is limited and uninteresting. (However, the large orchestra is fabulous.)
If you can win the ticket lottery, I recommend Sunset Boulevard. If you're someone for whom $299 isn't a lot of money, go ahead, give it a try; Glenn Close is really something. But if that's a lot of money to you, as it is to me, and you're not Glenn Close's biggest fan, stay home.
(lottery tix, $55, first row extreme side)