Theater Thursday: Sunset Boulevard Broadway Revival – Dream Casting

So, big news readers. Like fangirl freaking out at the top of her lungs news. My favorite musical is coming back to Broadway – and I can truly not stop shaking with excitement. Sunset Boulevard, the Andrew Lloyd Webber adaptation of the famous Billy Wilder movie, came to the Great White Way in 1994 and won the Tony for Best Musical in the process.

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 It tells the story of Joe Gillis, a down and out Hollywood screenwriter, who suddenly pulls into the driveway of a has-been silent movie star, Norma Desmond, and the two begin an incredibly dangerous relationship. The show was famous for its casting drama, with Patti LuPone, Faye Dunaway, and many other glamorous stars involved. But the person most people remember is the original Broadway Norma, Glenn Close, who also won the Tony for the role that year – and she will also be returning to the show. Is this a Broadway nerd dream come true? Well, it might not be for everyone – but for this 90’s Webber loving kid, it is the greatest dream to come true in my nerdy life.

So to celebrate such an announcement, I thought I’d speculate (or dream some more) who could be cast in this new revival. Of course, there’s the chance that the recent London Lonny Price revival (for which the Broadway revival is also directed by) will send their cast over, but until that announcement is made, let’s put on our Technicolor Dreamcoats (#WebberReference) for what this Sunset Boulevard 2017 cast could be.

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Ryan Silverman as Joe

Ever since I saw Side Show, I was convinced that Ryan Silverman was the next big thing – and even more so – was “born” (though that is such a strange phrase to use) to play the role of Joe. He’s got the perfect swagger of the 40’s/50’s period, and that harsh yet melodic tone to his voice that is equally charming as it could be sarcastic. In fact, the role of Terry and Joe have a lot of similarities, especially in the romantic relationships they both have that are super conflicting, which would make it obvious that Ryan would work perfectly for the part. Also, can you just imagine him singing the title song? I can’t stop thinking about it!

Honorable Dream Choice: Tony Yazbeck

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Michael Cerveris as Max 

Though this role might be a bit too above this Tony winner’s status nowadays, I think it would be incredible to see Michael take on the part of Max. This is one of most layered and misunderstood male roles on stage, and requires a lot of building and layers to grasp the full complexity of the role – and obviously, knowing Michael is the king of taking on such challenges, he’d rock at that role like the pro he is. Just to hear Michael belt out those Webber tones would break my – and many other Broadway fans’ – hearts in a second. Bonus points for the fact that he wouldn’t have to wear a wig this time, and he could  let that beautiful bald head shine!

Honorable Dream Choice: Anthony Warlow

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Jessica Keenan Wynn as Betty 

Ever since seeing her in Heathers, I always got the feeling that Jessica was meant to play roles that were set in eras much like the 40’s and 50’s – and since Sunset takes place in the golden age of Hollywood, it’s pretty easy to see why Jessica would slip into the role of Betty with no trouble at all. With her vintage sounding voice and looks (that have also worked wonderfully in her recent work in Beautiful), it would be awesome to see Jessica get thrown into a show with a more classical score than we’ve heard her sing before. Give the girl the respect she deserves and more moments to be in the spotlight!

Honorable Dream Choice: Jennifer Damiano

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Josh Grisetti as Artie 

I got the chance to catch Josh in Something Rotten a couple of weeks ago, and spoiler alert: He’s hella charming and adorable, and since SR is closing in January, that leaves room for him to take a chance at playing Artie. Sure, this is a pretty small role in comparison to the others on this list, but Artie is just as important a part of the story as any other character – he’s Joe’s best friend, Betty’s fiancé, and has some of the most fun lyrics to sing in the whole show. And apparently, he throws some pretty cool New Year’s Eve parties – who wouldn’t want to play this part? Josh has got the charm, slight awkward cuteness, and comedy chops to do this small yet memorable part proudly.

There are other smaller characters, such as Cecil B. DeMille, Manfred and Sheldrake, but anyone that I would want in the role would probably refuse to do it since they’d be on stage for 10 minutes at the most. But whomever they cast, I’m sure will be incredible.

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Regardless of who gets cast, whether it be anyone from my dream list or newcomers that won’t overshadow the star, this production of Sunset Boulevard is going to be my Broadway dream come true. What do you think of this dream cast/who do you think will end up alongside Glenn in this production? Comment below with all your thoughts and dreams!

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