Sunset Boulevard

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (Photo: Nick Wall)

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Glenn Close and Michael Xavier in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard (Photo: Joan Marcus)

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Michael Xavier & Siobhan Dillon in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard (Photo by Joan Marcus)

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Michael Xavier in Sunset Boulevard (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Based on the Billy Wilder film, the musical version of Sunset Boulevard is a tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition.

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Book and Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
Based on the Billy Wilder film


In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screenwriter, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive domain. Persuaded to work on Norma’s “masterpiece,” a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic existence until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning masterwork of dreams and desire in the land called Hollywood includes lush, swelling standards “With One Look,” “As If We Never Said Goodbye” and “Perfect Year.”

Sunset Boulevard has four central characters and an expandable ensemble. With a sophisticated subject matter, the show is best-suited to professional and community theatre groups; it runs approximately 2 hours and 27 minutes, with intermission.

Orchestrations by David Cullen & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Original production by The Really Useful Group Ltd.

The Really Useful Group Ltd. gratefully acknowledges the role of Amy Powers in the lyric development of Sunset Boulevard.

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Watch videos from the show

  • Glenn Close in the 2017 Broadway revival
  • Michael Xavier in the 2017 Broadway revival
  • Glenn Close performs “As If We Never Said Goodbye” at the 1995 Tony Awards

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Show tags

Performance Group: Community Theatre, Professional, Secondary School

Type: Book Musical

Style: Contemporary Broadway

Size of Orchestra: Large

Setting: Period/Historical

Genre: Adaptation (Stage & Screen), Drama, Mystery/Thriller, Period, Romance

Vocal Demands: Challenging

Cast Size: Large

Casting Opportunities: Ensemble Cast, Expandable Casting, Reduced Casting/Doubling, Roles For Older Actors, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male

Target Audience: Adult, Senior

Award Recognition: Broadway, Tony, West End

Collection: Community Theatre Favorites, Most popular, Rare Gems, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male

Production Resources: Artwork License, MyLines® For Cast, PLAYBILLder, RMS Keyboards, StagePro™ For Crew

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