I was able to schedule a free one-night stopover in London on a return trip to the US from the continent. It was in October 1993, and I had booked terrific seats in advance to see Ms. Lupone in the recently opened SUNSET BOULEVARD.
We hoofed it to the nearby Adelphi Theater on time after tubing in from Heathrow and checking in to our hotel near Leicester Square.
It was shocking when we later learned that she would not be appearing in the show on Broadway. She gave a great performance in London, and her singing, as you can hear on the CD, is stunning.
It seemed unusual at the time that the US production opened (in LA) barely 6 months after the London production.
I later saw the original US production in LA (sometime in 1994) and again in NY a few times, all starring Glenn Close, and long after that in Schenectady with Petula Clark in the lead. And again, with Glenn Close in the recent (2017) revival at the Palace Theater in NY.
Each was different, but each worked fine. Perhaps, given her tenure in the part, Close brought a little more subtlety, nuance, pathos and depth to it.
It was a terrible experience for Lupone, but I understand she received a generous financial settlement after being let go. It has been reported that the NY production opened with the largest broadway musical advance sale (at the time) of $37.5 million