West Windsor, N.J. – Change has not come easily to silent film star Norma Desmond. In a mesmerizing homage to early Hollywood and the era of silent films, Playful Theatre Productions presents the Tony Award-winning “Sunset Boulevard” at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre. This blockbuster musical will be performed Fridays, April 5 and 12 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, April 6 and 13 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, April 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.
Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The community is invited to an opening night reception with the cast and crew on April 5.
Surrounded by the trappings of stardom long since faded, Desmond is still hoping to make her “return” to the big screen. In fact, she has written a painfully long screenplay in a desperate attempt to revive her career. Enter struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis, who accidentally stumbles onto Norma'’s property, and she quickly sees an opportunity. The drama gets gradually darker as Gillis discovers this wounded star is one whom you won’t walk away from unscathed.
With book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show is based on Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 film. It has enjoyed two successful Broadway runs, both starring Glenn Close in the lead role.
The winner of eight Tony Awards in 1995, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, “Sunset Boulevard” features multiple memorable musical numbers including the title song, as well as “Surrender,” “With One Look,” “New Ways to Dream,” and “As If We Never Said Goodbye.” It was nominated for numerous awards during its multiple runs in London.
“Sunset Boulevard” stars Holly Gash of Yardley, Pa., as Norma Desmond; William Kamps of Burlington as Joe Gillis; Evan Bilinski of Franklin Park as Max von Meyerling; Cat Tierney of Princeton as Betty Schaefer; Matthew Robertson of Yardley, Pa., as Artie Green; Peter Sauer of Yardley, Pa., as Cecil B. DeMille; Jim Morris of Plainsboro as Sheldrake; Nicholas Pecht of Hamilton as Manfred; and Mike Wermer of Mt. Holly as Sammy.
Featured in multiple roles are Rachel Benoit of Wrightstown, Darren DeAngelo of Keansburgh, Lea Jeffers of Rocky Hill, Nicholas Kianka of Hamilton, Jaimie McMillan of Bordentown, Billy Morris of Milltown, Jenna Moschella of Ewing, Emily O’Sullivan of Hamilton, Sasha Saco of Trenton, Jeff Scharf of Yardley, Pa., and Daniellle Steward of Ewing.
The production staff includes Producers Suzanne Smith and Hilary Leboff, Director Frank Ferrara, Music Director Shannon Ferrara, Stage Managers Ruth Kresge and Nancy Russell, Choreographer Dominick Sanelli, and Costumer Michelle Rittmann. The production staff includes Producers Suzanne Smith and Hilary Leboff, Director Frank Ferrara, Music Director Shannon Ferrara, Stage Managers Ruth Kresge and Nancy Russell, Choreographer Dominick Sanelli, and Costumer Michelle Rittmann. The set designer is Jeff Cantor; sound and lighting design are by Evan Paine. Hair designs are by Donna Reed.
Tickets are $20 for all and may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.