Dunaway 'will sue' Lloyd Webber
Sunday 26 June 1994
Miss Dunaway, 53, was to have taken over the lead role of Norma Desmond from Glenn Close, who is preparing to open the show on Broadway in November.
But Sir Andrew announced on Thursday that he would rather close the show than let Miss Dunaway appear. Despite training he felt the actress, who does not have a strong musical background, would be unable to cope with the part.
His production company, the Really Useful Co, said in a statement: 'It was concluded after several weeks of rehearsals and vocal preparation that the musical demands of the role were such that it was not possible for her to perform as scheduled.'
Miss Dunaway and her managers said they were flabbergasted. 'From the moment I learned of (Sir Andrew's) decision, I thought, quite simply, 'this is yet another capricious act by a capricious man',' she said on the set of her new film, Don Juan DeMarco and the Centerfold.
'As to the question of my singing, which has been raised as an issue, from the beginning Mr Lloyd Webber told me he wanted an actress who could sing. . . When I auditioned for Mr Lloyd Webber I sang my range.'
She said that Sir Andrew had cast her in one vocal range, but later tried to push her into a higher one. She added that she would take legal action but declined to specify what the grounds for her claim would be.
Sunset Boulevard received grudging acclaim from British critics who normally dislike Sir Andrew's work. But the show has been dogged with bitterness about who should play the female lead.
The original production, based on Billy Wilder's great 1950 film about the claustrophobic and sinister world of Norma Desmond, a fading silent movie star, opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London and starred Patti LuPone.
She was to have taken the role of Desmond to Broadway. But Sir Andrew terminated her contract after Glenn Close opened in Los Angeles to ecstatic reviews from the American press.
He reportedly paid Miss LuPone about pounds 1m so Miss Close could transfer from Los Angeles to New York in her place.
Miss LuPone said the decision had left her feeling devastated. Sir Andrew said that he had wanted her to go to Broadway, but his American backers had insisted that Glenn Close get the part.
The Los Angeles production has taken more than dollars 25m ( pounds 16m) in ticket sales since opening last December at the Shubert Theatre. Advance sales for the production starring Dunaway had reached dollars 4m, which will now be refunded.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...