REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Sunset Boulevard” Opened with a ShowScore of 79

Show-Score | Feb 10, 2017
“Sunset Boulevard,” with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and directed by Lonny Price, opened on February  9, 2017 in New York City. “Sunset Boulevard,” with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and directed by Lonny Price, opened on February 9, 2017 in New York City.


33 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 71.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 85
"It is a show that exists almost entirely to let its star blaze to her heart’s content. The light she casts is so dazzling, this seems an entirely sufficient reason to be...What was one of the great stage performances of the 20th century has been reinvented, in terms both larger and more intimate, that may well guarantee its status as one the great stage performances of this century, too...The musical, on the other hand, seems and sounds thin, despite the velveteen lushness of its orchestra."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 80
"Glenn Close makes a triumphant return to the star role of Norma Desmond...Some roles you really have to grow into, and Close claims diva status this time around...Lloyd Webber’s luscious music (burdened by clunky lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) is performed by a huge on-stage orchestra that lives by its strings...Close delivers a genuine show-stopper in 'As If We Never Said Goodbye'...If you want to see grown men weeping in the aisles, this is your moment."
Adam Feldman
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 60
"Those who go to see Close reprise her celebrated turn in the musical’s 1994 Broadway production will not be disappointed...Close holds the stage with a feverish intensity that transcends camp...If only she could be in every scene! For the rest of 'Sunset Boulevard,' adapted from Billy Wilder’s timeless 1950 film, is mostly a languorous slog...This is second-rate Lloyd Webber: filler songs that loop and repeat exhaustingly, set to lyrics that often clunk."

“Sunset Boulevard” was also reviewed by Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly, Mark McLaren of ZEALnyc, Nicole Serratore of The Stage (UK), Chris J Kelly of The Star-Ledger (, Jesse Oxfeld of Town & Country, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Robert Sholiton of Bob's Theater Blog, Robert Feldberg of, Linda Winer of Newsday, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Matt Windman of AM New York, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, and David Gordon of Theatermania.


The show was also reviewed by 54 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 84.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Must see, Absorbing

Luke, ShowScore: 95 
See it if…"You want to see a magnificent piece of work and an almost 70-year-old Glenn Close work some magic on stage. And hear Andrew Lloyd Webber's best work!" 
Don't see it if…"You want a true revival with expansive sets. Or just really don't like anything done by Andrew Lloyd Webber (though this should change your mind)." 
Tim M, ShowScore: 99
See it if…"You'd like to see one of the best performances in musical theater history. Glenn Close is, needless to say, PHENOMENAL!!!" 
Don't see it if…"You're one of those people who have decided you hate Andrew Lloyd Webber for some reason."

Ryan L 6131, ShowScore: 64
See it if…"You want to be mesmerized by a performance that sucks you in, even in the way back, by Glenn Close, but be aware it's more of a staged concert." 
Don't see it if…"You like listening to a wonderful voice in the lead character."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.