ACT of CT Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine goes to extremes to assure SUNSET BOULEVARD leaves an an indelible mark on theater-goers

On Friday evening, ACT of Connecticut’s donors and supporters were not only privy to a working rehearsal of SUNSET BOULEVARD but were taken “behind the scenes” by the artistic team including Grammy-nominated Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine, Music Supervisor Bryan Perri, and the show’s choreographer, Sara Brians.
Starring the uber-talented American-Asian actress Pearl Sun as Norma Desmond (Broadway’s Come From Away and Next to Normal), SUNSET BOULEVARD is ACT’s biggest production to date with 20 actors and an orchestra of 11 musicians.
SUNSET BOULEVARD tells the tale of fallen silent film star Norma Desmond. Levine explains, “Norma is a fictional character based on an amalgamation of many famous Hollywood stars who were incredibly successful during the silent film era. With the advent of talkies (the process of adding sound and speaking into films), Norma fell into obscurity and was left unhireable and this sent her into a world of isolation, depression, and desperation.”
In Daniel C. Levine’s brilliant style, ACT’s SUNSET BOULEVARD goes to extremes and will most definitely leave the audience on the edge of their seats. “You guys know that like I dream big. When I dream big, that's what’s on stage and what all of you get to experience,” Levine told Friday night attendees.
Speaking of dreaming “big” Levine revealed, “We rented the original Broadway costumes for this production.” Leaning into Pearl Sun’s Asian heritage, Levine said that additional costumes and accessories (and even some of the scenic designs) have some Asian inspiration. What’s more, SUNSET BOULEVARD is most definitely a PG-13 performance. There is a murder that takes place in the show, and Levine said, “We are going there.” Levine adds, “I think a lot of the reason that SUNSET BOULEVARD isn't done too often in regional theaters is because it is a huge show. I am really excited that we are telling this story in the way that it is meant to be told.”
Let’s talk about the leading lady. Levine said he auditioned many people for Norma Desmond. “I had Pearl in mind for the role for quite some time, and she does not disappoint.” Pearl Sun told sneak peek goers, “I'm just so grateful. This has been….and I’m not being hyperbolic here….this has been probably the most extraordinary work experience I've ever had in my career.”
This Tony Award-winning masterpiece has been called Andrew Lloyd Webber’s finest scores weaving together an enthralling story of romance, obsession, and faded glory. Catch it on stage at ACT of Connecticut from October 26 - November 19 with a Special Opening Night Performance on Saturday, October 28, 2023 and a 7pm performance on Sunday, November 5th.
Don’t miss out! Purchase your tickets
Submitted by Katonah, NY

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