by JIM MURPHY for the Age
The musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's film about decaying Hollywood stardom in the 1940s was conceived for a towering central performance by the diva playing the no-longer-young star of silent films Norma Desmond. Fair enough.
But director Wayne Harrison soft-pedals the Gothic overtones of the piece and, with a dream cast of principals, delivers a knockout ensemble performance in which eyeball-rolling melodrama gives way to intelligent, rounded characterisations and absolutely first-class acting.
published: August 19, 2005