WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN: 1/4, runs to 7/5
The home of the English National Opera bursts into a round of spontaneous applause as the biggest star in the West End takes to the stage.
- Read on for more observations from the second row including Close’s co-star’s painted-on abs
It’s a very American reaction to the most-nominated star never to scoop an Oscar (six) and Tony winner for her role as Norma Desmond in this very show 21 years ago.
Fans of the film will remember Desmond is a silent film star whose fame faded with the introduction of the talkies who hires writer Joe Gillis (the charismatic Michael Xavier) to mastermind her comeback.
From our seats in the second row we admired Xavier who emerges from the orchestra pit which is doubling as a swimming pool and parades the stage in his wet trunks only at one point. We were slightly disappointed to notice that his abs were painted-on however.
Close gives a five-star performance in what we would describe as a three-star musical of largely pedestrian Andrew Lloyd-Webber songs. She’s unforgettable as she enters to best song With One Look vamping it up to the max and heartbreaking as she returns to Hollywood with As If We Never Said Goodbye.
We spy Matt Lucas and Lord Michael Grade behind us in the audience just before curtain up. The raucous response to Close’s performance as the show finishes should rubber stamp her appearance in the film version of this musical which is currently being much discussed.
- Main picture via Facebook courtesy English National Opera. Tickets here.
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