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Follies

Is playing at the Marquis Theatre at 1535 Broadway between 45th and 46th Street. It cost $7.3 million to put on.  There is a 28 piece Orchestra and a cast of 41 .

The original Broadway show opened at the Winter Garden on April 4, 1971.  It was directed by Harold Prince & Michael Bennett, with choreography by Bennett.  Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics. The show closed on July 1, 1972 after 12 previews and 522 performances.  "According to Variety Magazine the production was a "total failure with a cumulative lose of $792,000.00". (Wikipedia)  Despite being nominated for eleven Tony Awards which it won seven. It also won seven Drama Desk Awards and one New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical.  The cast consisted of Alexis Smith, John McMartin, Dorothy Collins, Gene Nelson and Yvonne De Carlo.

The show has had several revivals in London, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York.

2001 Broadway revival opened on April 5, 2001 and closed on July 14, 2001 after playing 117 performances and 32 previews.  Directed by Matthew Warchus and choreograph by Kathleen Marshall.   This Roundabout Theatre production had a limited engagement.  It was suppose to run until September 30, 2001.  It played to a sold out audience.  "To extend the show, it would have been necessary to negotiate new contracts with the entire company...because of the Belasco's limited seating, it wasn't deemed financially feasible to do so". (Wikipedia)    It starred Blythe Danner, Judith Ivy, Treat Williams, Gregory Harrison, Marge Champion and Polly Bergen.

The show is about the final reunion of the Weismann's Follies cast. It's 1971 and the party takes place in the theatre were the shows were performed. The theatre is being torn down to make room for a parking lot.

The story revolves around Sally Durant Plummer (Bernadette Peters) and her husband Buddy Plummer (Danny Burnstein) and their friends Phyllis Rogers Stone (Jan Maxwell) and her husband Benjamin Stone (Ron Raines). They were friends and roommates back when they were in the show.  Sally loved Benjamin.  Matter of fact she still does.  However Benjamin married her friend Phyllis.  Benjamin can't make up his mine who he loves. None of the couples marriages have been great.  More than one have cheated on their spouses. 

Some of the scenes go back to the day when they were in the Follies with the older actors and the younger version of them playing on the stage at the same time. Basically it tells what transpired in the past that has effected what is now happening.

The show drags in the beginning and comes alive when the song "Who's That Women" is played. Terri White (Stella Deems) does a great job in that number. She brings the show to life.   

Another outstanding number "I'm Still Here" sung by Elaine Paige (Carlotta Campion).  Elaine is convincing as an actress still in top form as a performer.

Danny Burnstein does an eye-catching job in "The Right Girl", were he is on the stage by himself singing and dancing. Another song he does "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues" he performs with Margie (Kiira Schmidt)  and Sally (Lora Lee Gaynor).  They work well together and make for an enjoyable scene.

"Could I Love You" Jan Maxwell pours her heart out.  Her rendition tears at your heart strings. 

When Ron Raines sings "The Road You Didn't Take" you don't want him to stop.  He has such a beautiful voice.

"Too Many Mornings" sung by Bernadette and Ron was drowned out by the orchestra a couple of times.  What a shame.

Bernadette solo number "Losing My Mind" feather back ground and stunning gown could not help the lack of substance to the song.  I expected more.  Her voice had a beautiful tone but their was something missing. 

The rest of the cast was great.

It was fun seeing the actresses strut around in their Follies costumes. In one scene they were in full glory.  The costumes were fantastic.  You can see why Gregg Barnes was nominated for a Tony (Legally Blond) and won a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles Awards (The Drowsy Chaperone).  All I can say is WOW.

It was fun to finally go to a musical and the orchestra was actually in a pit, like the old day's.

I hope they correct the echo that was going on in the second act.  It sounded like the songs were bouncing off the wall. This put a damper on the numbers.

The short coming was, Bernadette role doesn't get any thrust until the end and by the it's to late.

But still its a nice night out.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich. 

Photos by Annazor

 

 

  

 

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