CENTURY CITY : Faye Dunaway Offered Lead in 'Sunset Boulevard'

Faye Dunaway has been offered the role of Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" at the Shubert Theatre, a spokesman for producer/composer Andrew Lloyd Webber said Thursday.

If negotiations are completed as planned, Dunaway will replace Glenn Close in the hit musical after June 26, when Close is scheduled to leave in order to begin rehearsals for the role in New York.

Not known for her singing, Dunaway reportedly had intensively prepared for her audition, which Lloyd Webber conducted this week. Asked whether she can sing, Lloyd Webber spokesman Peter Brown, who had not attended the audition, replied, "Andrew's happy with her. And it's his music."

Rita Moreno and Diahann Carroll also auditioned for Lloyd Webber this week, Brown said.

"This will be her debut as a singer," Dunaway's manager Bob Palmer told The Associated Press, "and she's ready."

(This announcement was made after today's Liz Smith column on F2 had gone to press.)

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