Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County’s professional award-winning theatre company opens their 36th MainStage Season with Sunset Boulevard.
This Tony Award winning musical based on the Billy Wilder film of the same name, features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. Sunset Boulevard introduces audiences to silent movie star Norma Desmond who longs for a return to the big screen when she meets struggling Hollywood screen-writer Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances. This masterwork of dreams and desire in the land called Hollywood includes the lush, swelling standards “With One Look,” “As If We Never Said Goodbye” and “Perfect Year.” Sunset Boulevard will run three weekends from September 16th – October 2nd, 2022 with performances on Fridays & Saturday at 8pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm.
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, Joe 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.
Sunset Boulevard stars Elizabeth Ward Land (B’way- Amazing Grace, Memphis) as Norma Desmond and Trevor Martin (Wolfbane Prod.- Sweeney Todd, Sharon PH- Beauty & the Beast) as Joe Gillis. The cast also includes James Patterson (B’way- Beauty & The Beast, Gigi) as Max von Mayerling, Sandra Marante (Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Westport Country PH- In The Heights) as Betty Shaefer, Jacob Sundlie (MTC- Ragtime, Shawnee PH- Addams Family) as Artie Green, and in multiple roles is Philip Callen (Legacy Theatre- Deathtrap, Urban Stages- Honky), Jeff Gurner (B’way- The Lion King, MTC- Falsettoland), Paul Aguirre (Nat’l Tour- Billy Elliot, Seussical), Matt Grasso (MTC- It’s A Wonderful Life, ACT of CT- Joseph…Dreamcoat), Helen Clare (SToNC- YAGM Charlie Brown, Honky Tonk Angels), Emily Solo (Charlottesville Opera- Sound of Music, New Camerata Opera- Infinite Energy), and Leigh Klinger (Sharon PH- Beauty & the Beast, Mac-Haydn Theatre- Sunset Blvd).
Elizabeth Ward Land recently starred Nana in The Bedwetter – the acclaimed Sarah Silverman, Josh Harmon and Adam Schlesinger musical at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company. Elizabeth Ward Land has a varied show business career that encompasses musicals, plays, concerts, voice-overs, commercials, film and television. On Broadway, she appeared in the original casts of Amazing Grace (Mrs. Catlett), Scandalous (Louella Parsons), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marie, all three versions), and in Memphis, Passion, City of Angels, and as a featured soloist in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber starring Michael Crawford at Radio City Music Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London.
Off-Broadway credits include The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company), Southern Comfort (Public Theatre), Curvy Widow (Westside), The Green Heart (Manhattan Theatre Club), Hello Again (Lincoln Center) and Chess. Liz starred in the National Tour of The Prisoner of Second Avenue (Edna) opposite Hector Elizondo, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Baroness), Les Misérables, and as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain. She starred as Mother Superior in the pre-Broadway tryout of Sister Act at Pasadena Playhouse and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
Her film and television credits include “Young Adult,” “Boy Meets Girl,” “The Good Fight,” “Elementary,” “High Maintenance,” “Madam Secretary,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Big O,” “The Blacklist,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “One Life to Live,” “All My Children,” and twice on the NBC’s “Today” show as part of their “Everyone has a Story” series.
Her solo shows have been performed at The Wilson Center, Long Beach Cabaret Series. Soloist with The Long Beach Pops, Coto Candlelight Series, Hollywood Revisited, and The Salon Series with Michael Feinstein at the Mark Taper Forum. Elizabeth was honored to be chosen as Barbra Streisand’s stand-in for her 2006 Concert Tour. Her acclaimed debut CD, First Harvest, is also available through LML Music. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of the Pacific and a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California at Davis. Elizabeth Ward Land recently released Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt – on CD and digital and streaming formats, courtesy of LML Music. She is the recipient of the 2020 Bistro Award. For more information, please visit ElizabethWardLand.com.
MTC and Actor’s Equity Association are committed to a safe and sanitary performance for both the audience and actors alike. Therefore, masks will be required by all staff and audience members. Click here for up-to-date information on MTC’s health & safety protocols.
Sunset Boulevard is directed by Kevin Connors with musical direction by David John Madore and choreography by Corinne C. Broadbent. Abbey Murray stage manages alongside the creative team which includes scenic design by Lindsay Fuori, lighting design by RJ Romeo, costume design by Diane Vanderkroef, prop design by Sean Sanford, and sound design by Will Atkin.
Ticket prices range from $40-$65 plus fees and can be purchased online or over the phone (203-454-3883). MTC MainStage is located at 509 Westport Ave. in Norwalk, CT.
MTC MainStage gives a huge thank you to its sponsors, Black Rock Social House, The Burry Fredrik Foundation, Shoff Darby Insurance Agency, and the State of Connecticut DECD/COA