Glenn Close gave a show-stopping performance—literally—at a showing of Sunset Boulevard this week at the Palace Theatre. Close, who is currently starring as faded film star Norma Desmond in the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, startled audiences when she chastised a fan for taking photos during her performance. Close had been in the middle of her first song “With One Look” when she spotted a fan taking illegal photographs of her solo. She suddenly halted the production, breaking character to tell the audience: “I’m sorry. Stop the show. Someone there is taking photos. You must know how distracting and disrespectful that is.” Close informed the fan that they could “have a show or have a photo shoot,” but not both at once. She then restarted the ballad from the beginning, this time without any distractions.
This is not the first time that Close has halted a performance of Sunset Boulevard. As noted by Playbill, she was also interrupted during the original 1994 Tony Award-winning production of the same musical. Close was descending the show’s iconic staircase when she noticed an audience member taking flash photography. Using language surprisingly similar to this week’s disruption, Close told the fan: “We can either have a press conference or continue with the show.” Audience members responded by giving Close a standing ovation, after which Close resumed the show.
While Close may have stopped the same musical twice, there is one actress who remains the most famous show-stopper on Broadway. That title belongs to famous Broadway diva Patti Lupone. During a 2015 production of Shows for Days at Lincoln Center, Lupone was so incensed by an audience member’s texting that she snatched their phone as she exited the stage. Calling the audience member “rude” and “self-absorbed,” Lupone was dismayed enough by the experience that she claimed to be questioning her entire stage career. Luckily she was able to overcome the experience and return to Broadway for War Paint, currently running at the Nederlander Theatre.
Theater has always given a voice to the voiceless, which has not changed much even today. Michael Moore, a famed documentary filmmaker, announced that he plans to take his new protest film to Broadway.
New York has been a friend to Michael Moore for a while, so this new Broadway play is sure to be a hit. It is called “The Terms of My Surrender,” which is said to share opinions that he hopes President Trump will hear so that he can understand why some voters chose to vote against him.
It seems that Moore is not only attempting to share his opinion on the President but also ignite a conversation that he feels is necessary in this country after such a contentious election. It is going to be a one-man show that will take audiences through the insanity of the elections.
Many patrons of the theater are excited to see Moore’s skills put to the test in this new medium, which is something he has not done before. The people behind the play say that the format is very flexible. They are not afraid to flip the script a little bit, and they are not afraid of inviting guests or having impromptu discussions throughout the play.
What Moore is attempting to do is engage the American public again as he has attempted to do throughout his career. Some people disagree with his message, but not many people who would say he is not a provocative artist. The theater is live, and there is a certain type of energy in live productions that cannot be reproduced in movie theaters, which is probably what Moore is trying to tap into.
Some say that it is going to be a cross between a stand-up comedy special and a play. It is going to be performed eight times in one week, and it is going to continue for 12 weeks. It definitely sounds like a very tough undertaking, but Moore is more than passionate about this project, which is surely going to give him the power to spread his message.
It is set to begin in July at the Belasco Theatre for those interested.
If you like campy 80s horror and musicals, you may well love “Slashed! The Musical” (STM). Entirely crowdfunded by fans, this new musical has a delightful concept. Featuring seven original songs done in 80s style, this musical comedy is playing in Los Angeles this coming June. Directed by the infamous Chelsea Stardust, this musical is set in a fictitious summer camp called Camp Doom. Although the musical will feature a masked madman hacking his way through innocent camp counselors, this show is obviously going for laughs, not scares. The show will feature original music from Sean Keller. I feel this Broadway-style show has a lot of potential.
Based on the talented tema involved in the creation of STM, I believe that this musical is going to impress a lot of people. After all, most people have seen enough slasher films that they are fully familiar with the cinematic tropes that STM lampoons. As a musical, STM is able to explore some fairly grim material with a sense of fun and lightheartedness. Based on what we know about this musical, it looks like you don’t have to be a fan of horror or slasher films to enjoy this musical thoroughly. I hope that I am able to see STM live at some point. As you might already know, there is something magical about seeing a musical live in its first run. If I’m not able to see this show live, I may be able to see this show on DVD at some point. Hopefully, this musical will ultimately receive a film adaptation, which will see this concept going full circle.
Like any musical, STM will live or die on the quality of its music. If the songs are catchy and thought-provoking, this musical will make a lasting impression. If the initial press buzz is any guide, this show has strong chances of success. I am a firm believer that the public should give this fascinating new artwork a chance. As a fan of 80s slasher films, I feel in my heart that this could be one of the best new musicals of the decade.