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Derek Klena, Auli'i Cravalho Join 'Sunset Boulevard' At The Kennedy Center

Photo: Getty Image

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces the creative team and additional stars joining Tony Award® winner Stephanie J. Block in the highly-anticipated Broadway Center Stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award®-winning Best Musical, Sunset Boulevard. Based on Billy Wilder’s Academy Award®-winning film, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece, with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, weaves a compelling tale of romance, obsession, and faded glory in 1950s Hollywood.

Broadway powerhouse Stephanie J. Block (The Cher Show, Into the Woods) stars as former silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond. She is joined by Tony Award® nominee Derek Klena (Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge! The Musical) as Joe Gillis, Auli’i Cravalho (Moana, Rise, The Little Mermaid Live!) as Betty Schaefer, and internationally-renowned Grammy Award®-winning baritone Nathan Gunn as Max von Mayerling.

This new production from the Kennedy Center’s critically acclaimed Broadway Center Stage series will be directed by Sammi Cannold (Evita at New York City Center, Ragtime on Ellis Island), with choreography by Emily Maltby (For You, Paige: A TikTok MusicalEvita at New York City Center) and music direction by Ben Cohn (Dear Evan Hansen). Tyrone L. Robinson (the Kennedy Center’s Show Way) will be the Associate Director. The lush score will be performed onstage by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Additional casting and design team members will be announced at a later date.

Director Sammi Cannold said, “I am honored and excited to be directing this new production of Sunset Boulevard in the hallowed halls of the Kennedy Center and with the stupendous Stephanie J. Block. Our young team is especially thankful to be entrusted with bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton’s classic piece to the next generation of theatergoers, in particular, from a new, female-driven perspective. I hope you’ll join us in the Eisenhower Theater this February.”
“I have wanted to produce Sunset Boulevard for many years, but I knew we needed the right team to revive this magnificent work,” said Kennedy Center Vice President and Executive Producer of Theater, Jeffrey Finn, who also serves as the Artistic Director of Broadway Center Stage. “I am thrilled to have such brilliant women leading our company. Everyone involved are incredible artists, and I cannot wait for audiences to see a fresh vision for this iconic show.”

Broadway Center Stage: Sunset Boulevard plays the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater for 10 performances only, February 1–8, 2023. Tickets are currently available to Kennedy Center Members and will go on-sale to the public November 3, 2022 via the Kennedy Center website, at the box office, or by calling 202-467-4600.