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STAR OF BROADWAY HIT THREATENS TO RIDE INTO SUNSET OVER FIASCO

A "furious and insulted" Glenn Close says she is ready for her last curtain call of "Sunset Bou-le-vard."

Close sent a scathing letter to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber upon learning that ticket sales were inflated by $150,000 a week to make understudy Karen Mason look good, Daily Variety reported Monday."It sickens me to be treated with such disregard," Close wrote. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that my performance turned `Sunset Boulevard' around. I made it a hit."

After news of Close's letter broke, Close and Lloyd Webber issued a joint statement, expressing "mutual dismay that a very private communication . . . found its way into public hands."

They "remain the best of friends," the statement said.

Mason portrayed the demanding and vain Norma Desmond on Broad-way last month while Close took a two-week vacation.

"It has existed on my shoulders . . . and yet a representative of your company went out of his way and lied to try to make the public believe that my contribution to this show is nothing, that Karen's performance is equal to mine," Close's letter said.

"If I could leave `Sunset' tomorrow, I would," Close wrote. But she'll stay until July because so many ticket holders expect to see her.

Messages left at Really Useful Co., Lloyd Webber's American unit, were not returned.

A message left with Close's publicist Monday night also wasn't returned.