Monday, May 27, 2024

Broadway: After “Sunset Boulevard” Performance, Glenn Close Sells Her Eyelashes, Gloves for $2000 for Charity


Last night on Broadway: Superstar Glenn Close sold her eyelashes, gloves, and signed photos for $2000 after a stunning night playing Nora Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard.” The money went to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the auction– similar to those around town this month– was hilarious.

But more importantly: what a performance Ms. Close is giving night after night at the Palace Theater. Remember, she played Nora on Broadway for three years in the 1990s. Now in this new, pared down and much improved version, she’s found new depths and reserves. She is the consummate actress.

It’s funny, too, because Nora– who’s over the hill in Hollywood– is only 50. Glenn, who’s a little older than that now, is in the prime of her career. She’s mesmerizing. The Palace is a big, big theater and it’s filled in every seat. But the audience is with her all the way. When Nora finally arrives at Paramount Studios in Act 2, and a bright key light is turned on her, the audience starts cheering. When Glenn sings one Andrew Lloyd Webber’s top three songs, “As if We Never Said Goodbye,” a standing ovation erupts mid show. Every single night. It’s one of the few really thrilling moments on Broadway right now.

Every night the audience is full of Close admirers. Last night it was writer-director Paul Schrader and his actress wife Mary Beth Hurt– old, old friends. They were as dazzled as the rest of us. Kudos to Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon, and Fred Johanson who make for a mighty supporting cast.

Listen, Glenn Close has three Tony Awards including one for playing this role in the original production. But we’d better see her on this year’s Tony show. Maybe she’ll sing “As If” and bring down Radio City Music Hall. Maybe she can present Best Musical. But this is a moment on Broadway for us, and for her.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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