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Faye Dunaway Fights Back

I must have been too young whenever this happened. What exactly did Andrew Lloyd Webber do, and why is he so capricious?

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by Anonymousreply 2008/09/2020

Dunaway was signed to replace Glenn Close in the L.A. production of “Sunset Boulevard” back in 1994. However, she reportedly struggled with the score, singing not being her forte, and apparently her name didn’t sell tickets like the producers thought it would. Ultimately, rather than risk a big financial loss and potentially damaging reviews for Dunaway and the show, they abruptly announced that the L.A. production would close upon Close’s final performance, thus putting Dunaway out of a job before she even opened. She responded by suing them for damages; that’s what this press conference was all about.

by Anonymousreply 108/07/2020

R1 did she win?

by Anonymousreply 208/07/2020

The terms of the settlement were never made public. She received some compensation, but reportedly nothing close to the $5 million she was seeking. It was all handled privately out of court.

This was just one in a long line of controversies that marred the show, beginning with the Patti LuPone fiasco.

by Anonymousreply 308/07/2020

What happened to Patti regarding the show?

by Anonymousreply 408/07/2020

Patti had several contract disputes with ALW and Really Useful Productions. She had right of first refusal to open the show on Broadway -and the role was given to Close. She also had the right to do first recording of songs from the show, but ALW allowed Barbra Streisand to record "With One Look" and "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and release them prior to Patti's recordings. She sued him and won. She now refers to her Connecticut home and its Andrew Lloyd Webber Memorial Swimming Pool as the result.

I advised Faye Dunaway to take advantage of the hype at the time, and immediately do a short tour of A Little Night Music in the role of Desireé -a role she could sing and play beautifully, undercutting in most people's minds the idea that she wasn't up to Sunset Boulevard (a much more demanding role, vocally). But would she listen? Of course not. And today you see the result of her fateful decision.

by Anonymousreply 508/07/2020

In a nutshell, Patti created the role of Norma Desmond in London when the show debuted in 1993, and was also contracted to open the show on Broadway the following year. However, the L.A. production with Glenn Close opened a few months after London, and Close received better reviews from the American press than LuPone did. This led to lots of rumours than Glenn would replace Patti on Broadway, which Lloyd Webber and his company constantly denied. All of this caused Patti a great deal of distress.

Finally, in February 1994, it was confirmed that Close would indeed take the show to Broadway instead of LuPone, and the news was made public before Patti was told. She only found out because her agent phoned her. Then she famously trashed her dressing room in anger.

by Anonymousreply 608/07/2020

Not gonna lie, ALW does sound kinda capricious.

by Anonymousreply 708/07/2020

Before Dunaway was chosen for Los Angeles, Lloyd Webber offered LuPone the chance to do the role there in compensation for losing out on New York. She was incredibly insulted at being expected to replace Close and turned them down cold.

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if she’d accepted, then they closed the show like they did with Dunaway?

by Anonymousreply 808/07/2020

R7 Oh, he definitely can be. I spoke with someone who worked with him once, who said one of his biggest problems is that he doesn’t trust his own judgement. He makes hasty decisions in the heat of the moment and later second guesses himself constantly.

by Anonymousreply 908/07/2020

He’s highly overrated.

by Anonymousreply 1008/07/2020

He is at his best when least pretentious, and working with people who can put limits on him. He is a highly skilled songwriter, capable of a great deal of melodic invention. His song cycle, Tell Me On A Sunday (stages as Song and Dance) is full of wonderful songs. But the bigger and grander he goes, the less effective he is (in my opinion).

by Anonymousreply 1108/07/2020

R11 Tell Me on a Sunday is highly underrated. I love it, especially the original Marti Webb version, which wasn’t quite as cluttered as later productions.

Apparently they’re doing another rewrite of that show to feature a gay male lead.

by Anonymousreply 1208/07/2020

It's already been done as a gay version -But not well. :(

by Anonymousreply 1308/07/2020

I saw the Close production in LA and I thought her singing sucked.

What shocked me was the guy who played the Male Lead. It was the guy from the "Three's Company" spinoff who played the dopey surfer cook on "Three's a Crowd"! Who knew he was classically trained performer? Someone took a huge risk casting him instead of someone more Broadway famous! (Clearly, that throat if his is good for something more than just singing!!!)

by Anonymousreply 1408/07/2020

R14 I saw LuPone when she was playing Norma in the West-End and then I saw Close in the role when she revived it a few years back. LuPone sang the role better, but Close acted the role better. Ultimately, I think ALW was right to go with Close on Broadway. I agree with you that Close's singing was 'meh,' but LuPone is not really a great actress and was wrong for the part of Norma. Norma is supposed to be unhinged and her grip on reality declining. Close is great at that kind of stuff, LuPone not so much. Every time I've seen LuPone on TV or on stage it basically feels like "Patti LuPone is Patti LuPone in..." Her range is limited to 'tough broad" characters.

by Anonymousreply 1508/08/2020

[quote]You can't blame a human being for his behavior you have only to explain it and try to understand it

by Anonymousreply 1608/08/2020

I saw LuPone in London, too. Hated the show, but I didn't blame her. She was, gasp, too young for the role.

by Anonymousreply 1708/08/2020

R15 yeah, Patti is a great singer but an overrated actress.

R17 that too!

by Anonymousreply 1808/08/2020

I personally find LuPone to be a stronger comedic actress than a dramatic one. She has an excellent sense of comedic timing that often goes underused. When she does drama, she’s always LuPone being LuPone, but tends to really go for it if given broad comedy to perform.

by Anonymousreply 1908/09/2020

Just one year prior, in 1993, Faye Dunaway was a Gap model!

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by Anonymousreply 2008/09/2020
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