Drury Lane’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ gets its Norma Desmond

Christine Sherrill

After months of speculating and rumor, Drury Lane has finally cast its Norma Desmond for their upcoming production of Sunset Boulevard. (In fact, I heard from multiple sources that Tony winner Christine Ebersole had seriously been considered — could you imagine?)

After some internet digging, I see that another Christine has been cast as the faded silent film star: Chicago actress Christine Sherrill.

And I’m totally fine with that. Admittedly and quite surprisingly, I’m not that familiar with Sherrill’s work. But I do know, according to recent reviews, she’s apparently giving Tony winner Katie Finneran a run for her money as grumpy Miss Hannigan in Paramount Theatre’s Annie (Finneran is starring as Hannigan in the tepidly reviewed Broadway revival).

While this doesn’t exactly feed into my dream casting of the role, I’m very much looking forward to not only discovering Ms. Sherrill, but seeing her take on what is most likely the biggest role of her career. And I applaud Drury Lane for hiring local, rather than booking Broadway names as they’ve done in the recent past for major productions of Ragtime, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. She’ll be following the footsteps of Chicago favorite Paula Scrofano, who played Ms. Desmond in Marriott Theatre’s production back in 2004 — the very first regional production of the megamusical.

Sunset Boulevard begins January 24 at Drury Lane Oakbrook. More info here >

Christine Sherrill as Miss Hannigan opposite Caroline Hefferman as Annie in “Annie” at Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Ill. now until Dec. 30.

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