By Ian McLean
All lights dimmed throughout The Q except for a solitary spot which focussed on a figure shimmering in a black and golden gown high up in the theatre stalls. A few piano notes of introduction then the majestically rich, deep and sonorous voice of Bronwyn Sullivan filled the theatre with “As if we Never Said Goodbye”, the hallmark tune from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, “Sunset Boulevard”.
Bronwyn, pictured, sang with grave, earthy passion as she slowly descended the theatre stairs until she eventually joined media representatives who had assembled on stage to discover who had been cast to play the pivotal role in the tragic story of the star of the silent movie era.
Approving nods, warm applause and “great choice” murmurs rippled around as full light now bathed centre stage. Without doubt one of Canberra’s most versatile and stylish performers, Bronwyn has appeared in many musicals since 1978. She has starred in nearly a dozen. Most recently she played Madam Giry to critical acclaim in that other Lloyd Webber hit, “The Phantom of the Opera”. She is a renowned cabaret, concert and recording artist who also garnered a huge following as a jazz singer with the sophisticated band Swing in Style.
“Sunset Boulevard” is to play at The Q, October 8-25, 2014. Director Stephen Pike decided to announce the casting of the Norma role before general auditions which will be held on October 12-13 this year. It is anticipated that many fine Canberra actors will seek to gain the opportunity to work with an artist of such renown.
Included already in the production team are musical director Sharon Tree (who made such an impact with her outstanding work in “Blood Brothers”) and bubbly choreographer Annette Sharpe tackling dancing duties.