Billy Wilder’s cynical noir film has been turned into a hypnotic and fascinating musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. Almost completely through-sung, this moody piece invites us into the haunted lair of former film star Norma Desmond, whose desire to return to the screen propels her into an unforgettable relationship with younger screenwriter Joe Gillis. A Tony winner for Best Musical, this unique musical drama provides outstanding roles for a quartet of leading players, plus an ensemble of studio starlets and gentlemen. The legendary opulence of the original Broadway production doomed the show to financial failure.
The MTWichita scenic package designed by J Branson approaches the show creatively, selecting specific furniture pieces and scenic elements to convey the important focus of each scene. Settings are handsome and atmospheric, but each is also capable of moving swiftly to allow for instantaneous scene changes. From Hollywood soundstage, to car chase on the streets of Hollywood, to Norma’s living room, to the Paramount Studios gate — all transitions are swift and easily accomplished in view of the audience.
Movement: Crew motivated
Offstage space: 16’ SR & SL / 10’x 30’ US
Number of Trucks: * 2- air-ride / tight pack
# Line sets used: ~21 (~6 hard units)
Portals: Show hard / 4-soft
Load-in crew: 12-carps / 4-elecs / 4-props / 3-fly
Load-in time: 12+ hours
Show crew: 4-carps / 2-elec / 4-props
Fly crew: 3
*See Space requirements for Logistic Requirements
The extravagant wardrobe of screen star Norma Desmond is carefully calibrated to chart the transformation from withered, forgotten woman into a vibrant and lethal force. Similarly, the entire costume package designed by George T. Mitchell abounds in well-chosen period details and bold silhouettes. Life at a Hollywood studio is depicted in all its grandeur and color, and the private lives of its most featured players are revealed with subtlety and clarity.
Supported cast: 7 principals / 10 female / 17+male
Principal size range: Norma-4 / Joe-38
# Ensemble Bottoms: Per above numbers
# Ensemble Tops: Per above numbers