The original Betty Schaefer of Broadway's Sunset Boulevard will at last step into Hog-eye's spotlight this fall. Tony Award winner Alice Ripley has been tapped to play Norma Desmond at North Shore Music Theatre this fall. Performances will run September 24–October 6 at the circle-in-the-round venue in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Ripley won a Tony Award in 2009 for her performance as Diana in Next to Normal; her additional Broadway credits include Sideshow, American Psycho, and The Rocky Horror Show. Previously, in 1994, she was Johanna in a NSMT production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
“I can just stand there, and the sound of the music reminds me of when I watched Glenn [Close] stand there in the big white cuffs,” Ripley told Playbill in 2017, as she prepared to sing Norma's anthemic "As If We Never Said Goodbye" in concert (watch above). “That informs your movement. You visualize it, but also, there’s this three or four-dimensional capability you have to feel with your heart or imagination. It makes you move a certain way. Am I cold? Am I hot? Do I want to take the coat off? Is it just right? I think everything is just right in that moment.
“Let’s just say I’m ready when it’s ready for me.”
Sunset Boulevard, featuring a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, was last on Broadway in 2017 in a revival led by original star Glenn Close. The Tony winner and Oscar nominee is reportedly attached to a film adaptation from director Rob Ashford.
Additional casting will be announced later.