Meet The Cast of Kennedy Center’s Sunset Boulevard
Also part of the cast are Auli'i Cravalho (Moana) as Betty Schaefer and opera star Nathan Gunn as Max von Mayerling. Sammi Cannold is directing the production, which she describes as seeking to explore "what [it was] about Norma's journey that was difficult because of what it was to be a woman in that time...industry standards of how thin you were, how many wrinkles you had on your face.- Playbill
Read full article at Playbill.com
Stephanie J. Block feels that after spending almost four decades in the theatre industry, it’s time for her to take a turn as Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned Hollywood tale of Sunset Boulevard.
The high-drama musical follows a silent movie star whose fame is slipping through her fingers because of the creation of talking films. “You have these emotional high points with this story. It certainly doesn’t lack drama, it doesn’t lack poignancy and heaviness, and you underscore it with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music,” says Block of the upcoming production at the Kennedy Center, which runs February 1-8 at the D.C. venue’s Eisenhower Theater.
A big score calls for a full, 20-piece orchestra, which Block’s onstage counterpart Derek Klena describes as a “pinch-me moment.” Klena sings the title song of the show as Joe Gillis, a writer who becomes involved with Block’s Norma. “The fact that we get to sing it with a 20-piece orchestra…I’m going to put it out into the universe that we can do a recording at some point, because I would just love to have documentation of me getting to sing with these people,” says Klena.
Also part of the cast are Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) as Betty Schaefer and opera star Nathan Gunn as Max von Mayerling. Sammi Cannold is directing the production, which she describes as seeking to explore “what [it was] about Norma’s journey that was difficult because of what it was to be a woman in that time…industry standards of how thin you were, how many wrinkles you had on your face.
Between the score, the cast, and a story—which is still tragically relevant today—Block remarks: “If you love theatre, you’re walking away with the grand prize.”
See Playbill’s interview with the Kennedy Center Cast of Sunset Boulevard here!