Nicole Scherzinger broke down in tears as she was awarded Best Musical Performance at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday night.
The former Pussycat Doll, 45, couldn’t control her emotions as she took to the stage at London’s swanky Claridge’s Hotel to accept the honour for her showstopping turn in West End Musical Sunset Boulevard.
She had been up against A Strange Loop’s Kyle Ramar Freeman, Crazy For You’s Charlie Stemp and Guys & Dolls’ Marisha Wallace for the award.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber was not able to attend the awards in person but said that his leading lady had ‘given us a performance for the ages.’
Nicole then welled up as she revealed that her role as Norma Desmond in the atmospheric musical had helped her ‘be accepted by London’s theatre community.’
Congratulations: Nicole Scherzinger broke down in tears as she was awarded Best Musical Performance at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday night
One to watch: The former Pussycat Doll, 45, couldn’t control her emotion as she won the honour for her showstopping turn in West End Musical Sunset Boulevard
Emotional: Nicole welled up as she revealed that her role as Norma Desmond in the atmospheric musical had helped her ‘be accepted by London’s theatre community’
Thespian: Nicole looked in great spirits as she posed with legendary stage and screen actor Sir Ian McKellen inside London’s Claridge’s Hotel
The Grammy-nominated singer looked nothing short of sensational at the awards in a black sequinned gown with lace overlay that hugged every inch of her figure.
The plunging frock teased a glimpse of her ample cleavage as she graced the red carpet ahead of the swanky ceremony.
Nicole’s new role marked her return to the stage, eight years after she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her portrayal of Grizabella in Cats.
Her musical comeback was heralded a success by Daily Mail reviewer Luke Jones who gave her a five star review.
It said: ‘The classically romantic score remains, melting over a slightly clunky plot about a reclusive, deluded silent movie star who ensnares a young writer called Joe, so he can polish her comeback screenplay. Over the course of two-and-a-half hours she loses her marbles, and he loses his life.
‘Director Jamie Lloyd, who’s been toiling at his stripped-back and moody style of revival for years, has finally hit the sweet spot. No lavish costumes, no intricate set. Just live camera work, a ferociously big star, and an even bigger band.
‘The lighting is almost exclusively bright white, which designer Jack Knowles harnesses in the most magical way. It pulsates, hides and reveals, using the thick stage mist.
‘Dominating the view, though, is an enormous screen, giving us haunting, live close-up shots of the actors in front of us… melodramatic glances, fluttering lashes and big bulbous tears. Scherzinger even delivers a pouty over-the-shoulder look right down the barrel.
‘It’s a perfect marriage of psychological trauma and camp. Think Pinter, with a bouncy brass section and expressive dance. Or opera, if it were watchable. Norma’s dramatics are put in what feels like a real world.’
Proud: She happily posed for snaps inside the bash while brandishing her award
Fantastic four: Nicole posed with theatre director Jamie Lloyd and actors Zawe Ashton and Tom Hiddleston
Gorgeous: The Grammy-nominated singer looked nothing short of sensational at the awards in a black sequinned gown with lace overlay that hugged every inch of her figure
Congratulations: Ruth Wilson posed with her trophy after she won the Editor’s Award in acknowledgement of her 24-hour performance in The Second Woman
Another winner: Elton John was honoured with the second Editor’s Award for his collaborative approach to musical theatre
Striking: Hayley Atwell looked sensational in a black gown as she spoke at the awards
Gorgeous: Tuppence Middleton also took to the stage in a glamorous black gown
Suited and booted: Actress Taylor Russell, who is dating Harry Styles, opted for an oversized androgynous black trouser suit
Blue-tiful: Zawe Ashton dazzled in a navy sequinned gown
He continued: ‘Scherzinger will rightly get a low-loader full of awards, but so too should her co-star Tom Francis, as poor Joe. Both are vocally flawless. Both deftly balance the histrionic and the genuinely heartbreaking, the playful and raw.
‘They take their bows dripping in fake blood and genuine, hard-earned sweat.
‘Nicole Scherzinger nails it from the off. Any doubts I had about a Pussycat Doll playing Hollywood’s answer to Miss Havisham were banished pronto.
‘The early tune, With One Look, sees Scherzinger, as the mighty Norma Desmond, rip off her sunglasses and, in a tornado of stage haze and white-hot spotlights, roar an ear-popping showstopper.
‘The room leaped to its feet. Fading pop star becomes fading film icon, to dramatic perfection! I gasped – losing a full mouthful of gin and tonic to my shirt.
‘Forget Billy Wilder’s hammy noir original, and the lavish productions of this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical we’re used to. Here is a thrillingly fresh and surprisingly dark revival.
‘For my money (and for a good seat do bring a wheelbarrow of it) this is the show of the year.’
Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2023: The Winners
Paapa Essiedu, The Effect, National Theatre
Mark Gatiss, The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre
Paul Mescal, A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre
Andrew Scott, Vanya, Duke of York’s Theatre – WINNER
Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress in association with Mithridate
Patsy Ferran, A Streetcar Named Desire – WINNER
Sophie Okonedo, Medea, @sohoplace
Rachael Stirling, Private Lives, Donmar Warehouse
Anjana Vasan, A Streetcar Named Desire – WINNER
Dear England, James Graham, National Theatre
A Mirror, Sam Holcroft, Almeida Theatre
The Motive and the Cue, Jack Thorne, National Theatre – WINNER
Retrograde, Ryan Calais Cameron, Kiln Theatre
Best Musical Performance
Kyle Ramar Freeman, A Strange Loop, Barbican Theatre
Nicole Scherzinger, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre – WINNER
Charlie Stemp, Crazy For You, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Marisha Wallace, Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre
Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre – WINNER
Standing at the Sky’s Edge, National Theatre/Sheffield Theatres
A Strange Loop, Barbican Theatre
Tammy Faye, Almeida Theatre
Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Matilda Feyisayo Ibini, Sleepova, Bush Theatre
Kimber Lee, untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play, Young Vic Theatre
Anoushka Lucas, Elephant, Bush Theatre
Isley Lynn, The Swell, Orange Tree Theatre – WINNER
Bunny Christie, Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre
Robert Jones, Dancing at Lughnasa, National Theatre
Georgia Lowe, The Good Person of Szechwan, Lyric Hammersmith/ETT/Sheffield Theatres – WINNER
Tom Pye, My Neighbour Totoro, RSC/Barbican Theatre
Milton Shulman Award for Best Director
Rebecca Frecknall, A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre
Rupert Goold, Dear England, National Theatre
Nicholas Hytner, Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre
Jamie Lloyd, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre – WINNER
Andrew Richardson, Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre
Taylor Russell, The Effect, National Theatre
Tatenda Shamiso, NO-ID, Royal Court – WINNER
Jack Wolfe, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse