Past, present TV hosts involved in local production of ‘Sunset Boulevard’
(Photos from video by Sean Manning)
By Julie Beaulieu
HAMPDEN – Viewers of the weekly program, “Real to Reel,” will get a chance to meet both a former and present reporter/hostof the long-running newsmagazine broadcast produced by the Springfield Diocese’s Catholic Communications ministry.
Former longtime “Real to Reel” cohost Anna Giza (pictured above) will play the starring role of Norma Desmond and her brother-in-law, present “Real Culture” host Mark Giza (in photo below), is the director of the upcoming production of the musical “Sunset Boulevard,” to be presented by the Theatre Guild of Hampden on March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m., and March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. at the Wilbraham-Monson Academy in Wilbraham.
The Theatre Guild of Hampden was founded by Mark Giza and Rick Rubin nine years ago. Former productions include, “Guys and Dolls,” “Barefoot in the Park,” and, “Chicago.”
“This show is very special to me. ‘Sunset Boulevard,’ is my favorite movie of all time, with Gloria Swanson and William Holden, and when the musical rights became available, we got the exclusive rights,” said Mark Giza. “We’re the first ones to do the play here in Massachusetts.”
“It’s a very big, expansive, production, but it’s something that’s very close to my heart I have a fantastic lead and fantastic cast to tie it on in the chorus. My people are just the best,” he said.
Anna Giza, who also is music director at St. Michael Parish in East Longmeadow, said she is excited about playing the complicated leading role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
“Norma Desmond is a faded movie star. She was in the silent pictures, so when the talkies came along, she was out of the business, and she became a recluse for over 20 years,” Anna explained. “And then, she writes a screen play and she thinks she's going to restart her career.”
Asked what audience members can expect when they come to the local premiere of “Sunset Boulevard,” Mark said enthusiastically, “This is going to be an event!”
“If you love movies, if you love theater, if you love real talent, I have it here with my leads, and my chorus, my music director, the choreographer. It’s just the very, very best,” he said. “It’s going to be one great show.”
For more information or to obtain tickets, call 413-374-2028, or visit www.theatreguildofhampden.org.