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Official FOLLIES Thread #1. A DL Institution Begins.

While it can be vastly entertaining to watch the gaylings get all screetchy and hysterical when the THEATRE GOSSIP Threads inevitably turn to discussions of FOLLIES - it also gets so tiring to hear these children rant against something that they know nothing about.

Let's discuss the incomparable FOLLIES here in this thread: backstage stories, comparisons of performances, videos and pictures, anecdotes and analysis - of one of musical theatre's greatest achievements.

I suspect we'll hit 600 quickly, to be followed by #2, #3 ... ad infinitum!

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by Anonymousreply 30307/31/2020

Yvonne DeCarlo ... Elaine Paige ... Betty Buckley

but Eartha Kitt?


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by Anonymousreply 105/03/2015

Frank Rich's remarkable Crimson review of the pre-Broadway Follies in Boston:

"Follies is a musical about the death of the musical and everything musicals represented ... There is no getting around the fact that a large part of the chilling fascination of Follies is that its creators' are in essence presenting their own funeral."

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by Anonymousreply 205/03/2015

Saw Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige and Jan Maxwell in a revival. Maxwell was extraordinary and deserved her Tony nomination.

by Anonymousreply 305/03/2015

LIVE: Wallis/Prowse Long Beach version

Clark/Maxwell LA version of the most recent revival

TV: Concert versions.

by Anonymousreply 405/03/2015

OP, you should have distinguished between seeing the original on Briadway, or in St. Louis or LA,mother two places it played afterward.

by Anonymousreply 505/03/2015

Saw the original at the Shubert in LA. Edward Winter had replaced John McMartin, Suzanne Rogers had replaced Virginia Sandifur as Young Phyllis, and Marti Webbplayed both Young Sally and Young Heidi (which may have just been for that performance).

Saw it, early 1980s, at LA City College.

Long Beach, with Prowse.Wallis and triumphant Karen Morrow

Roundabout, 2001

Didn't see the most recent revival

by Anonymousreply 605/03/2015

I still have my program from the Long Beach production.

by Anonymousreply 705/03/2015

I've only seen the 2011 revival in Los Angeles - with Victoria Clark (not Bernadette Peters).

I thought it was AMAZING! It was a Life-Changer for me.

by Anonymousreply 805/03/2015

WTF with Eartha Kitt? It's like an alien-munchkin cabaret act!

by Anonymousreply 905/03/2015

When I was a kid I would walk past the theater on Saturday matinee days. The artwork for the marquee and windowcard(poster) is still the best there has ever been. I had zero desire to see it and the only thing of interest for me was Lily Munster was in it. Fact, every time I passed the theater was a ghost town, absolutely no one at the box office window.

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by Anonymousreply 1005/03/2015

Best performance of "I'm Still Here" = Nancy Walker. Seriously.

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by Anonymousreply 1105/03/2015

Did the original Bway production run long enough to have replacements?

Was there a tour? LA cast?

by Anonymousreply 1205/03/2015

R10, The box office was inside the theater. Why would you have seen people buying tickets on the sidewalk? It ran from April until July.

by Anonymousreply 1305/03/2015

Naw, Walker can't hold a candle to Yvonne DeCarlo. And Walker's looks and persona are completely at odds with the lyrics.

by Anonymousreply 1405/03/2015

a valuable souvenir ...

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by Anonymousreply 1505/03/2015

Saw the very first preview on Broadway and many times thereafter. They tinkered with it: early on in the run, they had an intermission; then, they played it straight through and droves of people would walk out at every performance. Those marital squabbles were so boring. There was always a sigh of relief when the Loveland segment began. Near the end of the run, the Winter Garden was always half empty.

I was always embarrassed for Alexis Smith having to say that line about how Phyllis thought about Ben coming home and her panties got wet.

One 6' showgirl looked very cheap and Vegas-y. Florence Klotz put her in platform wedgies no less.

At the beginning of the run, Ethel Shutta did the staircase for Beautiful Girls; most times, she'd just walk on stage. Old trouper that she was, no one has ever equalled her doing Broadway Baby. Love her gesture of kicking the cat. Always got a laugh.

by Anonymousreply 1605/03/2015

[quote]Those marital squabbles were so boring.

Should there be a marital squabble,

Available Bob'll

Be there with the glue.

by Anonymousreply 1705/03/2015

Mike Douglas had members of the cast on his show several times I recall. I remember seeing Yvonne do "I'm Still Here" on his show. The performers would take the train to Phillly to do the show and then go back to NYC.

by Anonymousreply 1805/03/2015

Love this show... Have the original soundtrack..... Still think Alexis Smith was/ is the best Phyllis..... Any Alexis Smith Stories

by Anonymousreply 1905/03/2015

[quote]The box office was inside the theater. Why would you have seen people buying tickets on the sidewalk? It ran from April until July.

Have you ever been to NY? I can't think of one Broadway theater where the box office isn't in the outer lobby right by the front door. You can see every box office window just by passing by. Besides as a kid, I passed the theaters because I wanted to, checking out the outside artwork and cast changes.

by Anonymousreply 2005/04/2015

LIVE: Three times .Original Broadway production at the Winter Garden. Saw the company after the show closed and played a week at the St. Louis Muny before heading to Los Angeles

The Roundabout "Blythe bumping into chorus boys "from 2001.

On bootleg tape: Long Beach with Prowse, 2001 Roundabout and two revivals one with Bernadette Peters, the other with Victoria Clark.

by Anonymousreply 2105/04/2015

R12 Jan Clayton replaced Ethel Barrymore Colt on Broadway. Show played 7 nights at the St. Louis Muny and then at the new Shubert in Los Angeles. Closed after L.A.

by Anonymousreply 2205/04/2015

Grew up with the Broadway and the Lincoln Center original cast records played in my home. Saw the show as an adult and was disappointed to realize that it WASN'T VERY GOOD. Theatre people and bitter old queens have kept this show alive. There are never enough of them to give it a very long run.

by Anonymousreply 2305/04/2015

Anyone see the recent concert version in London?

I saw the revival in London and found it thoroughly entertainment. The production values during the follies segment were top notch.

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by Anonymousreply 2405/04/2015

[quote]Have the original soundtrack.


by Anonymousreply 2505/04/2015

Saw the pre-Broadway Boston run multiple times. My favorite evening in the theater of all time.

by Anonymousreply 2605/04/2015

R25 - first 'Oh, Dear' that has made me laugh in a long time!

by Anonymousreply 2705/04/2015

[r11], I completely agree. DeCarlo's take used to be my favorite, but Walker's is the one on my iPod I listen to repeatedly. She doesn't have the best voice, but damn she sells the hell out the song. I love it.

by Anonymousreply 2805/04/2015

R20 I think the Martin Beck now Hirschfeld, has a Will Call window outside but I have never seen it being used. But yes, you are correct, all box offices are inside the outer lobbies.

by Anonymousreply 2905/04/2015

Saw it at the now gone Shubert in LA. It opened the theater. Pretty much the same cast but pre-DOOL Suzanne Rogers was Young Phyllis.

One of the best comments on DL was that Follies queens are like heroin addicts, always chasing the high that their first viewing of the show got, without ever admitting that the first wasn't all that good in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 3005/04/2015

I saw the Peters/Clark revival of Follies at least 10 times. 5 in New York and 5 in LA.

Overall, I can see why the show is problematic. There were nights when the pacing seemed glacial.

However, it was the moments that kept me going back. The entrance music, the staircase in Beautiful Girls, Waiting for the Girls, Who's That Woman, Loveland, ect. It was thrilling in parts.

Once seeing it in NY, I sat next to and older gentlemen who said to me "I'll tell you a secret. This one is better than the original. I've seen both".

by Anonymousreply 3105/04/2015

I hadn't seen this footage before.

"This is Your Life, Alexis Smith" on the set of "Follies" at the Shubert in LA. Great perspectives of the Aronson set and the cast in costume.

Hal Prince and Florence Klotz appear near the end.

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by Anonymousreply 3205/04/2015

If you look at Alexis Smith in her first costume in OP's video, you can see why Ethel Merman griped, "they made her look like a microphone!"

by Anonymousreply 3305/04/2015

Someone has a lot of time on their hands all the home movie footage in one place

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by Anonymousreply 3405/04/2015

I wholeheartedly disagree with all of those who insist that Follies "just isn't a good show." I think it is masterful and brilliant. What perhaps hasn't been so good were some of the productions and concert readings. It takes a brilliant director/choreography/design team, and near-perfect performers, to pull it off.

I didn't see the original. but I did see the 2011 revival. Believe it or not, I went in not knowing the show AT ALL. I had only heard "Losing My Mind" from a torch-song collection recording that I've had since college. I had heard of Follies - and because of all the concert presentations - had assumed that it was some kind of revue.

The second I stepped into the theatre, and into the designed world established by Derek McLane (set), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Kai Harada (soundscape) - I knew immediately we were in the clutch of an entirely realized theatre-piece. The ensuing opening moments grabbed me as no other had since the opening moments of Stephen Daldry's An Inspector Calls. And it didn't end there. I was swept away entirely for the next couple of hours through the equally glorious and heartbreaking requiem that is FOLLIES.

Since that night, only 4 years ago, I have become obsessed with Follies - and early Sondheim (similarly, I had not been familiar at all with Company or A Little Night Music, and now adore these works). My professional theatre background has been purely dramatic (I direct Shakespeare, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams), but now it is a career goal to direct FOLLIES and ALNM sometime soon.

A veteran Broadway press-agent friend of mine, who has seen both the original and the 2011 revival, says that there's no comparison (the original being the better of the two). But I don't understand all the vilification that the Eric Schaeffer production gets here on DL. As a 'first-exposure,' I have to say that the production was thoroughly engaging and successful.

by Anonymousreply 3505/04/2015

Saw the original, the Roundabout disaster (I agree with the poster who said that Louis Zorich with the flashlight in the beginning was the best thing in the show), the Lincoln Center concert version and the most recent Broadway revival.

by Anonymousreply 3605/04/2015

Well, that "Follies Movie Version 2" was disappointing. The YouTube description touts it being so professionally done with "restored image quality, colour quality, no jumpy cuts" - and it is a garbled mess. Skips almost all of the dialogue and half the songs. I can't believe I watched for 53 minutes only to see 1/5 of an incoherent Losing My Mind.

Does Lincoln Center Library have the entire thing?

by Anonymousreply 3705/04/2015

God knows the 2011 revival had its problems. (What the hell was Bernie doing in "Losing My Mind"?) But the pluses outweighed the minuses. And whoever lobbied for the full orchestration deserves a lot of credit. Glorious.

by Anonymousreply 3805/04/2015

There is a FOLLIES movie 1 too. Is that one better?

by Anonymousreply 3905/04/2015

not really

by Anonymousreply 4005/04/2015

Not only did I enjoy seeing the 2011 version in L.A., but I had the sexiest date in town that night, so there was that too :)

by Anonymousreply 4105/04/2015

Loved the set for the 2011 revival. Lugubrious and melancholy, it worked.

Who knew Nancy Walker could sing?

by Anonymousreply 4205/04/2015

My high school boyfriend came on my college theater spring break trip, a week in New York. We saw FOLLIES. Although we had not had sex since high school, we went back to my room at the Piccadilly Hotel and fucked like rabbits. What a fun week that was..oh, and drinking age was 18 back then.

by Anonymousreply 4305/04/2015

R42 Nancy Walker appeared in a number of musicals (both on Broadway and in the movies) in the '40s and '50s.

by Anonymousreply 4405/04/2015

Ex boyfriend I meant to add...reunited...just like them Weismann girls!!!!

by Anonymousreply 4505/04/2015

Yes, Walker was Hildy in the original Broadway production of ON THE TOWN.

by Anonymousreply 4605/04/2015

Walker was also in the original Broadway cast of Best Foot Forward and first went to Hollywood with several of her cast mates to recreate their roles in the technicolor MGM film version with Lucille Ball. Ball was dubbed in the film.

by Anonymousreply 4705/04/2015

OK, you schooled me!

by Anonymousreply 4805/04/2015

[quote]I wholeheartedly disagree with all of those who insist that Follies "just isn't a good show." I think it is masterful and brilliant. What perhaps hasn't been so good were some of the productions and concert readings. It takes a brilliant director/choreography/design team, and near-perfect performers, to pull it off.

That's ridiculous. A great show can be put on in a community theater with amateurs and achieve a grand entertainment. To have to have a "brilliant director/choreography/design team" to get a good production of "Follies" is like having a magician fool the audience. At the end of the evening, the guy in the tuxedo still has a sleeve of pigeon shit up his arm.

by Anonymousreply 4905/04/2015

As usual, [R49] has no idea what she's talking about.

by Anonymousreply 5005/04/2015

2001 Roundabout production was the first show I saw on Broadway. It certainly had it's problems but Blythe Danner was ideal as Phyllis and Joan Roberts (original Laurey in Oklahoma!) as Heidi was incredible on "One More Kiss"--I saw her final performance. She was replaced by Marni Nixon.

Have seen the concert version (Carol Burnett's "I'm Still Here" is the best acted version of the song, if definitely not the best sung), bootleg of Papermill (looks like it was a beautiful production. Ann Miller is fun if horribly miscast), bootleg of Long Beach, heard various audio bootlegs (PS, I'd love to see a recording of the 2011 LA production. Help?)

I was in New York when the 2011 revival was running. I think i ended up seeing it 5 times. I saw it my first day in the city. It was stunning. I could not walk by the Marquis Theater and not buy a ticket. Danny Burstein was unbelievable. That first chorus girl at the very top of the show--wow. Mary Beth Peil was sexy as hell. Jan Maxwell. Terry White. Watching Susan Watson "get lost" in her choreography in Who's That Woman. The entirety of the One More Kiss segment. Yes, Bernadette seemed to be in a different show than everyone else, but it was an intense performance nonetheless, wrongheaded as it sometimes was.

I saw a performance the night that Hurricane Irene was supposed to have decimated the city...needless to say "pity that it's not a hurricaaaaaane" got a HUGE laugh that night.

Ask me about the performance where Elaine Paige (who remembered all of her lyrics at every performance I saw) nearly brought down the lights in the theater.

Ask me about striking up a conversation with Terry White outside the stage door mid-performance when I happened to be passing by.

This show, for all it's book flaws, etc etc etc, does what all great art should do. Perfect? No. Moving? Affecting? Yes.

by Anonymousreply 5105/04/2015

Well, I admit, I'm a Follies fanatic! I saw the original twice and was blown away. (Even though the second time I saw it, Fifi and the guy who played Roscoe were hamming it up like crazy.) The original was brilliant and has never been equaled, and I'm pretty much always disappointed with other versions because of that, though I keep hoping. Saw the Paper Mill, and it was a lot of fun, but it wasn't Follies, more like "These old Broads put on a show!" I actually liked the Roundabout version better, mostly because it tried more to get the atmosphere right. The only person I loved in it was Carol Woods. I thought that Blythe Danner should have been good, but she just played drunk through the whole show, and it was very one note. (Though I don't remember her bumping into any chorus boys.) Saw the last revival both in Washington and NY and it was okay. I thought Jan Maxwell was very good, except for the dancing. The Encores was good also, but for some reason I couldn't get very excited about it, maybe because my seat was all the way on the side and I felt a little disconnected. Have the tapes of the Seattle and Long Beach versions. Long Beach is definitely the closest to the original, and Susan Johnson and Karen Morrow are really wonderful in it.

by Anonymousreply 5205/04/2015

Well, I saw the original Follies only once, and I thought it sucked. To me it seemed like two shows -- Michael Bennett's numbers and Goldman's book -- and they couldn't be fitted together. (The book was unimaginative and hopeless; It's another case for not rushing into rehearsal when the book isn't finished.) And when Loveland started, my spirits rose because I thought that the show had finally caught fire. It hadn't. Some of those showgirls were Vegas girls, and they didn't enjoy the lack of "glamour" that they found backstage at the Winter Garden and in New York in general. In Vegas, at least, they'd get paid for fucking after the show, but not with Gotham Fags. I think the big bitch in wedgies was Ursula Machsmeyer, but I'm not positive. The night I went, she was gliding across the stage as a ghost, and her trailing chiffon got caught on a nail or something in the floor, but she kept right on gliding -- of course, nobody could help her out, since she was a ghost and they couldn't "see" her. So everybody was amused as she progressed from stage left to stage right, waiting for the rip, but it somehow magically disengaged -- these ghosts can pull of such miracles -- before it tore or pulled her down.

by Anonymousreply 5305/04/2015

[quote]As usual, [[R49]] has no idea what she's talking about.

Spoken like a true Sondheimite. Hurry, your "Merrily We Roll Along" LP is skipping in the basement.

by Anonymousreply 5405/04/2015

I shudder to recall professional block of wood Ron Raines' role in the 2011 show.

by Anonymousreply 5505/04/2015

Saw it at the Paper Mill Playhouse years ago with Ann "Sugar Babies" Miller, Kaye Ballard, and Tony Roberts. Ex and I were bored to death (free tickets).

by Anonymousreply 5605/04/2015

As much as I love Annie Miller, her Carlotta was so inept and her singing of I'm Still Here so inane that it was famously parodied in Forbidden Broadway as I'm Still Weird. The whole production was so tackily glitzy, overwrought, and underacted, that none of the original creatives wanted it to go on to Broadway (the original intention) although only the Widow Goldman ended up taking the blame. The double disc album is very good though and Donna McKechnie is so surprisingly fine as Sally she is my favorite next to Collins. It is also the only really complete recording, including not only an addendum of cut songs, but music that was abridged from the allegedly complete Lincoln Center Concert recording.

by Anonymousreply 5705/04/2015

I think Jon Hamm and Kim Cattral would be perfect as Ben and Phyllis Stone.

by Anonymousreply 5805/04/2015

I saw the Papermill production too, r56. I loved it!

I only knew a few of the songs, but lots of other Sondheim. Donna McKecknie and Dee Hoty were both excellent, especially McKechnie, who has never been better frankly.

The Encores production was cast very well too with Victoria Clark and Donna Murphy who are both very good actresses. I love the show and think it just works all the time. As a matter of fact, it seems like a hard show to fuck up!

by Anonymousreply 5905/04/2015

M was in the audience at the recent London concert. She's shopping for roles!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 6005/04/2015

I wish Sigourney Weaver had done the Blythe Danner revival. She was supposedly very close to signing on.

They just ran an old Saturday Night Live where she did part of her old act with Christopher Durang. She was a good musical performer.

by Anonymousreply 6105/04/2015

Let's not, and say we did.

by Anonymousreply 6205/04/2015

Has Carol Channing ever done "I'm Still Here"? There's still time!

by Anonymousreply 6305/04/2015

I'm not a Sondheimite, R49 , and I, too, think you don't know what you're talking about.

There are plenty of shows that really should only be done by people who know what the hell they're doing.

Coriolanus or King John in the hands of a mere community theatre enthusiast could be pretty fucking dreadful.

R35's point wasn't that only brilliant auteurs can pull it off - but you damn well better have a vision and the skill to orchestrate and coordinate a fairly sophisticated, complex and nuanced work of theatrical art.

by Anonymousreply 6405/04/2015

Thanks, R51! I enjoyed your post.

Consider this asking about Elaine Page and Terry White! Do tell!

by Anonymousreply 6505/04/2015

[quote]M was in the audience at the recent London concert. She's shopping for roles!

If the Rob Marshall film version really does happen, I hope to God he doesn't offer Phyllis to Streep. She would be TERRIBLE in the part, besides being way too old.

by Anonymousreply 6605/05/2015

You guys will choke but I think it would have been great if Follies had been made into a film sometime in the 1970s with Doris Day in the Alexis Smith role.

by Anonymousreply 6705/05/2015

R67, You have to mean Doris Day in the Dorothy Collins role of Sally.

by Anonymousreply 6805/05/2015

[quote]There are plenty of shows that really should only be done by people who know what the hell they're doing. Coriolanus or King John in the hands of a mere community theatre enthusiast could be pretty fucking dreadful.

Spoken like a true insufferable Theater Queen.

by Anonymousreply 6905/05/2015

I cant actually type anything here since Im too busy jerking off at the thought of a dedicated Follies thread

by Anonymousreply 7005/05/2015

R68 Sorry. Should have written Dorothy Collins role of Sally. (once you hit that "post a reply button" there's no turning back)

by Anonymousreply 7105/05/2015

Almost 20 percent were in the audience at the original production?





by Anonymousreply 7205/05/2015

Agree - Nancy Walker's "I'm Still Here" is still by far the best version. (though I liked Polly Bergen as well).

by Anonymousreply 7305/05/2015





which, of course, is the worse thing you can be. Show me someone who wakes up every morning younger than the day before--we all get older, face it embrace it-whats the option?

by Anonymousreply 7405/05/2015

That's OK, R69 you just keep mounting High School Musical, Suessical and Nunsense! for your FlyOver Civic Players.

by Anonymousreply 7505/05/2015

I kept hearing how wonderful the Nancy Walker version of "I'm Still Here" was. When I finally heard it, I was totally underwhelmed. She and Carol Burnett had no business singing that song. They could never have had the career path the singer is describing. I even prefer Ann Miller's version to theirs, if only because Miller really was a Depression era hoofer who became a glamorous movie star then a middle-aged has-been.

The best version IMO is DeCarlo's. I'm surprised that she was just 48 years old when she sang it. Nicole Kidman turns 48 this year. "Older women" seemed like older women in 1970.

by Anonymousreply 7605/05/2015

Yes, a friend of mine spotted Dame Streep in the audience of the concert last week. She gave a standing ovation to "Who's That Woman"!

by Anonymousreply 7705/05/2015

Nancy Walker mumbled her way through "I'm Still Here." Awful.

by Anonymousreply 7805/05/2015

One thing that makes the original production so different (and arguably more effective) than subsequent productions was Boris Aronson’s brilliant set. If you think of Follies as a series of brief, overlapping conversations happening in various corners of an old theater, then we, as the invisible audience eavesdropping on these private conversations, need to be able to glide (like ghosts) from niche to niche, moment to moment.

In most productions (like the clunky Eric Schaeffer production), the director makes the actors leave their corner, walk downstage center (glass in hand), do their short bit, wait for the audience reaction, and then walk away, just as the next group comes downstage and repeats the exercise. It’s a really artificial concept, and slows the pacing and the naturalism of the party. It also forces the actors (for the most part) to be standing.

Aronson’s set was a series of moving, raked platforms at different levels with steps, which could come together to form a long, curving staircase (Beautiful Girls), or seamlessly carry actors from some far corner of the stage to down front without the need for them to stand up or change their conversation positions. The effect was like a movie camera on a boom, moving us (the audience) rather than the actors. Conversations seemed to be overheard, not telegraphed. And a tall, lanky chorus girl ghost could glide in and out as well.

The platforms also made it a bit difficult to dance because of the rake and the different levels. I remember The Ballad of Lucy & Jessie as being particularly difficult on the diamond-shaped platform where it was performed. It forced a brilliant choreographer like Michael Bennett to be even more creative with his cast of older actors. I also remember how much I loved The Right Girl, because of the dance break that let Gene Nelson (an excellent Buddy) dance up, over, and around the set, ending in a slow, spiral, slide down what could best be called a stripper’s pole. And Loveland was played on top of these platforms as well, a lace doily of a backdrop against a not-to steady foundation.

I think of the Aronsen set as another of the Follies characters, and a big player in the success of the original production.


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by Anonymousreply 7905/05/2015

One of the hair and make-up queens used to throw a crushed popper in Fifi D'Orsay's dressing room upstairs at the Winter Garden and she'd run out all flustered in her oh-la-la French Canadian way saying "my little chickie-poo."

by Anonymousreply 8005/05/2015

As per the 1971 clip above, are the really big showgirls that appear and delivery the spoken word lines in Loveland drag queens? The voices are certainly male.

by Anonymousreply 8105/05/2015

Madonna has reached out for the role of Sally.

You heard it here first

by Anonymousreply 8205/05/2015

A lot of people has been disparaging of Ron Raines' Ben. I thought he was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 8305/05/2015

Interesting costume tidbit:

In the original production, the Mirror, Mirror ghost show girl costumes were hand beaded at great expense with little faceted mirror ball beads.

At the first dress rehearsal, the beads caught so much light and were so distracting, the wardrobe crew had to cut up little bits of a frosted shower curtain and glue them all over the costumes to take down the reflection.

And if you look closely at production shots, you'll see flesh colored elastics sewn over the insteps of Ethel Shutta and Fifi D'Orsay's shoes. It was the only way those old broads could keep their shoes on.

by Anonymousreply 8405/05/2015

Blythe Danner was ghastly in the 1991 Roundabout production. She couldn't high kick in Ballad of Lucy and Jessie. Should have worked with someone like Onna White to get her legs up there.

by Anonymousreply 8505/05/2015

She has low bone density r85. A little too high and we'd have had a Heather Mills type situation on our hands.

by Anonymousreply 8605/05/2015

Loved the 2011 production, saw it several times. The sets were spectacular, and yes I absolutely did like Peters performance a great deal. Jan Maxwell was over the top in "Ballad" number, just terrific. I also attended the night of "the Hurricane." That was a very memorable evening for myself and collegues, we were able to go backstage. Great fun! The songs, the emsemble, made me fall in love with Musical Theater again. I was so glad to have seen it, it was always a treat!

by Anonymousreply 8705/05/2015

As always, Ethan Mordden writes brilliantly about the musical theatre - with FOLLIES at the center of his discussion.

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by Anonymousreply 8805/05/2015

[quote]That was a very memorable evening for myself and collegues, we were able to go backstage. Great fun! The songs, the emsemble, made me fall in love with Musical Theater again. I was so glad to have seen it, it was always a treat! by: 3rd row Center

Backstage oh my, now that couldn't have altered your perception of the show now, could it? Of course Joe Schmo from Kokomo who had half price mezzanine seats might not have been so enthralled.

by Anonymousreply 8905/05/2015

Ugh. You again, R89. Go Back to Sheboygan or Kalamazoo - or wherever your precious little community theatre troupe treads.

by Anonymousreply 9005/05/2015

[quote] THEATRE GOSSIP Threads inevitably turn to discussions of FOLLIES

Another true pinnacle moment in your life. Aim higher.

[quote] so tiring to hear these children rant against something that they know nothing about

Rant? No Eyes rolling? Yes

[quote] Let's discuss the incomparable FOLLIES

Eyes rolling

[quote] I suspect we'll hit 600 quickly

soooo….have you seen the number of responses for the Fox News/Guy Benson thread? Based on thread start date and # of replies, you’ve been outpaced by Fox News. Ouch. That’s gotta a sting.

by Anonymousreply 9105/05/2015

Great piece, R88. But the link is incomplete. When you get to the Times, you have to search "Mordden Follies" to bring the article up.

It's interesting to see gay stuff so openly presented, but our Ethan is pretty militant. Someone I know who writes for the Times says the editors there love getting gays into everything.

by Anonymousreply 9205/05/2015


by Anonymousreply 9305/06/2015

At one time there was talk of making a movie but switching to a movie studio on the verge of closing instead of a Broadway theatre.

Alice Faye, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Field, June Allyson were mentioned for the movie that never was.

by Anonymousreply 9405/06/2015

show with a great score-one of maybe the top 3 ever written for a musical-dreadful book--its like the Emperors new clothes of musicals-and was most effective in its original production when the time frame was current and the actors could have actually been in the Follies

by Anonymousreply 9505/06/2015

"show with a great score-one of maybe the top 3 ever written for a musical-dreadful book--its like the Emperors new clothes of musicals-and was most effective in its original production when the time frame was current and the actors could have actually been in the Follies"


by Anonymousreply 9605/06/2015

"I met a big financier and I'm here."

"I'm Still Here" is my anthem!!!!"

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by Anonymousreply 9705/06/2015

R92, the link at R88 works fine for me.

I love Ethan Mordden.

by Anonymousreply 9805/06/2015

I thought I was a FOLLIES fanatic, having seen the recent revival four times (three time in NY and once in LA), but I have nothing on some of you! The third time I say it on Broadway was the final performance, and Terri White's "Who's That Woman" literally stopped the show. I'd never seen anything like it. The audience would not stop applauding until all the women came back and essentially took a curtain call in the middle of the show. Fantastic!

All four times I saw it Elaine Paige went up on something. At one performance, she was so lost that Flo Lacey's character essentially fed her the lines and walked her downstage to where she was supposed to be.

I thought Victoria Clark was a much better fit for the show as Sally than was Bernadette. And Ron Raines was, I thought, the weak link in NY, but fabulous with Victoria in LA . . .

Jan Maxwell's performance got a little broader every time I saw it, but she was still magnificent.

by Anonymousreply 9905/06/2015

[quote]most effective in its original production when the time frame was current and the actors could have actually been in the Follies

So I guess that negates all period pieces for you - when the actors can't possibly have been around when the referenced event took place.

If the given circumstance of the play or musical is that it takes place in 1971 (and refers back to 1941), then any reasonable audience (i.e. breathing) can buy into the illusion that the actors create.

Funny thing, acting.

by Anonymousreply 10005/06/2015

Aronson's set for the original production looks amazing. Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't some of those raked platforms built at such a steep angle that they were dangerous to dance on? I recall reading (probably here, ages ago) that the Follies set led to a new union rule establishing a limit on the angle that a stage could be raked in order to protect performers from sustaining career-threatening injuries and long-term damage to their knees and ankles.

by Anonymousreply 10105/06/2015

That book Ted Chapin wrote about FOLLIES is worth reading. EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE. Great read!

by Anonymousreply 10205/06/2015

What dirt did Elaine Stritch have on Sondheim that he allowed her to scream her way through I'm Still Here on PBS? And yet, Patti LuPone got up and sang Stritch's signature song Ladies Who Lunch.

by Anonymousreply 10305/06/2015

My uncle down in Texas Can't even write his name NO,No, Follies, yes,yes, Alexis….. And so it goes….

by Anonymousreply 10405/06/2015

Whatever R91. You seem like a total twat.

by Anonymousreply 10505/06/2015

Carol Burnett's "I'm Still Here" was ALMOST as amateurish as Christine Baranski's and both were the weak links in their respective productions.

by Anonymousreply 10605/06/2015

Saw the original production twice. The second time, the cavernous Winter Garden was less than half-filled. I scooted down to a seat right up front.

by Anonymousreply 10705/06/2015

R106 Burnett's I'm Still Here is brilliant, and maybe (along with Nancy Walker) the definitive version of the song.

Sondheim has said that there is a switch in the song- it occurs at the line "I've been though Reno, I've been though Beverly Hills, and I'm here"- the song goes from a funny list of fads to an introspective moment talking about her life and struggles. Burnett does that transition better than anyone.

R106 are you the obsessed idiot who was ranting endlessly about Carol's marriage to Joe Hamilton? Give it a rest and go outside for some fresh air. It'll do you good, dear.

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by Anonymousreply 10805/06/2015

Some of you are nuts claiming Carol Burnett and Nancy Walker as the gold standard performers of I'm Still Here.

Posters about Ann Miller being wrong as Carlotta on stage are right. But strangely her studio recording is right on the money. I guess on stage she felt she had to be "Miss Ann Miller!" and sparkle, shimmy, sparkle. But she really tells the story of the lyrics on the cast CD. I'd always considered her something of a "dancing dog" before hearing her on that recording.

The best live versions come from the London production - Dolores Gray at the Royal Variety Performance and Earth Kitt at the Oliviers (I think).

by Anonymousreply 10905/06/2015

I thought Ron Raines was terrific in the L.A. production. The broad who played Sally was, well, meh. I'd rather have seen BP in the role.

by Anonymousreply 11005/06/2015

Ron Raines was much better with Victoria Clark, than Bernadette Peters. His performance and Jan Maxwell's didn't really gel. I think that was more her fault than his. She was loath to explore the ice queen tendency of the character (I think she said as much in interviews - not wanting to be the cold wife who's driven her husband away) and came across too much like a fun (almost) broad.

by Anonymousreply 11105/06/2015

Ron Raines was holding back vocally when he was with Peters. Peters voice was weak and he had to not overpower her.

Once they came to LA, he was able to let loose. Clark was much stronger vocally in the role, and Raines matched her note for note. His performance came ALIVE in Los Angeles.

I never really cared for Danny Burstein at all. I felt bad for him that they made him say "You 14-carat bastard!". SUCH a clunky line.

Maxwell was awesome. Paige was fun, and belted, but she wasn't a great Carlotta.

Teri White was fantastic. The version of Who's That Woman in from 2011 is definitive.

by Anonymousreply 11205/06/2015

R110=Kelli O'Hara

by Anonymousreply 11305/06/2015

Victoria Clark was vocally fine - actually quite good - in LA, but I didn't feel that she really had a handle on the character. As R110 said, her Sally characterization was ... meh.

Yes, r112, the 2011 "Who's That Woman" was spectacular. I've seen bootleg video of the original 1971 (and yes I understand that video doesn't come close to capturing the magic of live performance), and I felt the original WTW wasn't nearly as exciting.

by Anonymousreply 11405/06/2015

"Burnett's I'm Still Here is brilliant"

Not in some places.

I hate how she sings "I've gotten through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoo-woo-ver". It's such a "Carol" thing to do.

by Anonymousreply 11505/06/2015

I saw Ron Raines in NYC with Peters and Maxwell. I also saw Garber in the Encores! production.

For me, Raines's performance was better than Garber's and Raines's work with Maxwell was excellent.

I'm not commenting on the vocal work, but as Ben, I preferred Raines to Garber and will add that Raines's book scenes with Maxwell were so good - I actually felt that each character knew they had become hard and brittle, but remembered that deep down a) she adored him and b) he cared for her, but wouldn't give in to his feelings.

Together during "Leave You", Maxwell and Raines knocked it out of the park.

by Anonymousreply 11605/06/2015

Sorry, R109, I have to disagree and say that Eartha Kitt's I'm Still Here is jaw-droppingly horrifying! At least the version posted in R1. She sounds (and looks) like the 4th member of the Munchkin Lollipop Guild!

by Anonymousreply 11705/06/2015

Best "I'm Still Here" was Millicent Martin, IMO. She would have made a great Mrs. Lovett as well.

by Anonymousreply 11805/06/2015

Millicent Martin's "I'm Still Here":

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by Anonymousreply 11905/06/2015

brassy dame bump

by Anonymousreply 12005/06/2015

[quote] Whatever R91. You seem like a total twat.

Keep it classy, OP

[quote] I suspect we'll hit 600 quickly

Yes, with the OP providing 590 of the 600

[quote] to be followed by #2, #3 ... ad infinitum!

Eyes rolling.

by Anonymousreply 12105/06/2015

So, who's Losing My Mind was the best? Didn't like the one in L.A.

... and I won't even consider Liza's version ... I'm still embarrassed for her.

by Anonymousreply 12205/06/2015

[quote]Eyes rolling.

You really ought to see someone regarding these seizures you keep having.

[quote]Keep it classy, OP

Actually R105 wasn't me ... nor was R50, for that matter. Apparently others here think you're a twat.

I would have said 'cunt'

by Anonymousreply 12305/06/2015

I apologize if someone posted this link already, but Julia McKenzie's "Losing My Mind" is sublime.

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by Anonymousreply 12405/06/2015

the Meryl fans can suck it.

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by Anonymousreply 12505/06/2015

Dr. Frank-N-Furter goes all Sondheim on us

... and apparently when he dims the lights, he thinks about j.ews!

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by Anonymousreply 12605/06/2015

[quote] Actually R105 wasn't me ... nor was R50, for that matter.

Yes, they are you. I can see you're busy posting self-responses again so I'll let you get back to doing you what you do best: talk to yourself.

by Anonymousreply 12705/06/2015

Cleary [R127] has no idea how to use troll-dar. This is why frau's shouldn't be allowed to drive or post on the internet.

by Anonymousreply 12805/06/2015

Whatever, nobody.

by Anonymousreply 12905/06/2015

[quote]So, who's Losing My Mind was the best?

Seriously, has anyone ever thought that there is a version better than Collins'?

My personal favorite next to Collins is Donna McKechnie on the Papermill recording but there are so many fine recordings. I just can't believe anyone thinks someone has ever surpassed Collins.

Surprisingly, according to the Chapin book, the song was written for Alexis Smith. But she was uncomfortable with it and suggested to the creatives that it would be better for Collins. Collins took it, immediately made it her own, and Sondheim wrote Uptown, Downtown for Smith, which was then replaced by the similarly themed Story of Lucy and Jessie at the request of Bennett.

by Anonymousreply 13005/06/2015

I heard Sondheim say that John McMartin's performance as Ben was one of his favorites, maybe his favorite, of all the performances in his work. I don't think McMartin was especially well-received; he was the only one of the four leads who wasn't nominated for a Tony. (Yvonne De Carlo wasn't nominated either.)

by Anonymousreply 13105/06/2015

Yvonne De Carlo was the best "I'm Still Here," but Millicent Martin was a close second. Particularly on that Tony broadcast - she had just lost the prize, so there was an added frisson of "I'm a survivor" to her performance that night.

And "Shirley Temple" isn't nearly as good a choice as "Brenda Frazier" even if you have to look up who Frazier was.

by Anonymousreply 13205/06/2015

Brian Stokes Mitchell, "Losing My Mind"

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by Anonymousreply 13305/06/2015

[quote]I thought Ron Raines was terrific in the L.A. production. The broad who played Sally was, well, meh. I'd rather have seen BP in the role.

Ignore, R110, everybody. She's just having (another) bad season.

by Anonymousreply 13405/07/2015

The song Country House for the London production is one of the most jarring songs Sondheim has ever written, sounding like nothing else in the score.

by Anonymousreply 13505/07/2015

Collins is the best, DeCarlo is is the best, yes, yes, we get it Sondheimites. Only the original cast is worthy. Of course you can't understand that your ear and brain have been listening to the original cast album for forty years and you can't accept anything that in any way differentiates away from that sound.

by Anonymousreply 13605/07/2015

Is McMartin still drinking?

by Anonymousreply 13705/07/2015

Best Losing My Mind - Dorothy Collins. Case closed

by Anonymousreply 13805/07/2015

Loudon acting the hell out it...

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by Anonymousreply 13905/07/2015

Collins is the best, but yes, McKechnie was terrific (actually the best thing about the Papermill production).

by Anonymousreply 14005/07/2015

My first exposure to the show was the 2001 revival, and I fell in love. As troubled as that production was, the story and music moved me. It was life changing.

I saw the 2011 revival several times at the Kennedy Center and many times on Broadway. It struck a chord with me. It made me realize the problems I was having in my own marriage (I was living in DC at the time) and it made me realize how much I missed living in my native NYC (seeing those Broadway actors made me homesick). I put in my transfer at work after seeing the first preview at the Kennedy Center.

One of the most thrilling moments I've ever experienced in a theatre was sitting in the front row for Follies at the Marquis. During Beautiful Girls, when the women all join in singing "Caution, on your guard with beautiful girls" while parading across the foot of the stage, very glamorous. It was a thrilling and moving visual from the front row. I'll never forget it. LOVED that show. Thank God it closed when it did or I'd be broke.

I loved Bernadette Peters in the show. One of the best performances I've ever seen, and I know I'll get a lot of shit for saying that. Another poster commented that it seemed like she was in a different show than everyone else--I don't know, but whatever she was doing worked for me. She (Sally) was clearly living in her own little world, so the choices Bernadette made worked well in the show...for me, anyway.

I was listening to the London recording this morning and thinking what a terrible song "A Country House" is. I do love "Ah But Underneath", both the song and Diana Rigg's performance of it.

by Anonymousreply 14105/07/2015

Collins is the best, but yes, McKechnie was terrific

thank you dear!!!

by Anonymousreply 14205/07/2015

Bennett did not ask for the Uptown/Downtown change. In Sondheim and Co., he's quoted as saying he doesn't understand why Sondheim wrote Lucy and Jessie because he liked U/D much better. Also, the song allowed him to have the chorus with their backs to the audience walking up while Alexis walked down the stairs. Without the song, it turned into a number about backs.

by Anonymousreply 14305/07/2015

'So I guess that negates all period pieces for you - when the actors can't possibly have been around when the referenced event took place.

If the given circumstance of the play or musical is that it takes place in 1971 (and refers back to 1941), then any reasonable audience (i.e. breathing) can buy into the illusion that the actors create.'

Funny thing you know so little about theater. Yes those original performers were a part of the theatrical history that Follies analyses, criticizes, exalts and mourns. It gave that original production, in addition to its' lavish and brilliant production, enormous resonance and power.This can never be recreated.

by Anonymousreply 14405/07/2015

R144 touched on one of the problems of the more recent and future productions of the show. The talent pool of elder actors who have singing and dancing abilities and are also able to evoke a semblance of the glamour the show recalls gets smaller each year.

by Anonymousreply 14505/07/2015

I haven't seen anything posted about FOLLIES at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2011. I thought the director Gary Griffin cast a great mix of Broadway & Chicago actors for his production.

The theatre has a thrust stage, so it was neat to see the show work another way. Susan Moniz as Sally and Caroline O'Connor as Phyllis have great vocal and acting chops, and Hollis Resnik as Carlotta stopped the show both times I saw it (and what a fabulous frock she had to work with)!!

There are several clips available on YOUTUBE and I've heard that a bootleg of this show is available and out there somewhere.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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by Anonymousreply 14605/07/2015


Brian Stokes Mitchell should be arrested for that rendition.

He sounds like he's singing a Jennifer Holliday cover of that song. The arrangement is like one cut... from a very bad album... of someone you've never heard of!

by Anonymousreply 14705/07/2015

The recent French production was an absolute mess - it's shocking how thoroughly a director can misinterpret the material. Lucy and Jessie with costumes and choreography that belong in Chicago, vulgar projections looking like something from the On a Clear Day revival, and Solange inexplicably played by a man in drag.

by Anonymousreply 14805/07/2015

I've heard the whole Chicago production but I've only seen clips of some of the numbers. It was great to see a real dancer as Phyllis even if I wasn't wild about the choreography and the two boys thing.

Caroline O'Connor (mostly) successfully played against type as Phyllis. She was much more subdued than Smith, never mind the more broad Maxwell.

I hated how she was costumed, pre-Loveland. She did NOT look like someone who gave/attended dinners with elderly men from the UN.

by Anonymousreply 14905/07/2015

The Madrid production of a few years ago had "Losing My Mind" done on a treadmill. It was odd. I guess it was meant to evoke Sally moving but going nowhere. I liked the Ben - he had a quiet allure.

by Anonymousreply 15005/07/2015

Follies is the Judy Garland of Broadway shows. Inexplicable to everyone but gay men.

by Anonymousreply 15105/07/2015

[quote] Follies is the Judy Garland of Broadway shows. Inexplicable to everyone but gay men.

What a truly idiotic comment.

by Anonymousreply 15205/07/2015

Excellent points, r144 & 145.

In its initial Broadway run, FOLLIES was a deeply subversive show. NO, NO, NANNETTE with Ruby Keeler, Bobby Van & Patsy Kelly (with supposed direction by Busby Berkeley) had opened on Broadway a few months before in January 1971 and was a huge hit . Audiences who lapped up this first nostalgia-craze musical with a cast of singing-and-dancing Old-Hollywood stars probably thought FOLLIES was going to be more of the same carefree fun. Yet despite its own cast of old-Hollywood stars, FOLLIES was a poke in the eye to the nostalgia craze of the early '70s.

by Anonymousreply 15305/07/2015

While it certainly would add resonance to have veteran performers appearing in a piece about bygone days, the success of the piece does not (nor should not) depend on that alone. And yes, it certainly gave the legendary 1971 production that added power, that you speak of. But Follies can hold its own and work brilliantly now - and, I'd imagine, 25 years from now.

by Anonymousreply 15405/07/2015

I still don't understand why they didn't have someone like Karen Morrow do Broadway Baby in the Peters revival. It might have been too big an ask of Helen Gallagher - and I'm sure Shaeffer was wary after Regine's embarassing turn. But Morrow or Mimi Hines would have brought way more to the number than a fine, non-star like Jane Howdyshel.

by Anonymousreply 15505/07/2015

R151 -- I mentioned earlier in the thread that my ex and I hated it, major snoozefest. I think they like it for the "I'm Still Here!" ("I Will Survive!") aspect, kind of like why so many gay guys were enamored of H. Clinton in 2008 - the "her man (men ARE pigs!) done her wrong" thing.

by Anonymousreply 15605/07/2015

Jayne Houdyshell was wonderful as Hattie - and should have won the TONY.

by Anonymousreply 15705/07/2015

"I'm Still Here" is one song and it's not even typical of the score.

by Anonymousreply 15805/07/2015

"But Morrow or Mimi Hines would have brought way more to the number than a fine, non-star like Jane Howdyshel."

And yet, somehow she managed to get a Tony nomination. hmmmm

by Anonymousreply 15905/07/2015

I said she was fine. And Scarlett Johansson has a Tony so let's not even get into that.

by Anonymousreply 16005/07/2015

[quote]Yet despite its own cast of old-Hollywood stars, FOLLIES was a poke in the eye to the nostalgia craze of the early '70s.

The problem with FOLLIES is that it's a poke in the eye to its viewer. "Theater people," gay or straight, are more willing to be intellectually dicked around with and to have their sensibilities tweaked by a musical than the average theater-goer is.

FOLLIES gives you four unhappy people and doesn't care if you find them tedious or unpleasant. Who wants to pay money to sit through that? Sondheim and Prince would go on to give us PACIFIC OVERTURES, a musical history lesson told by Japanese men in drag. I know it's brilliant, and I love it, but the public aren't clamoring for things like that and they never will be.

FOLLIES exploits the nostalgia craze even as it pokes it in the eye. How much difference is there in getting Ethel Shutta to sing a new song that sounds like an old one, and getting Ruby Keeler to sing and dance to old songs that still entertain? FOLLIES wants to guilt you for enjoying this hokum and its hoary old entertainers. NO, NO, NANETTE just wants you to sit back and enjoy. Is it any wonder one was a hit and the other wasn't?

FOLLIES reach exceeds its grasp. Re-staging NO, NO, NANETTE wasn't as simple as it seems. That production had a rocky road to Broadway too (chronicled in a wonderful book) but they were the company that caught lightning in a bottle. FOLLIES told its audiences that they were hopeless fools to fall for the entertainment of forty-five years past. Now forty-five years later, FOLLIES is to us what The Ziegfeld Follies were to it.

by Anonymousreply 16105/07/2015

[quote] FOLLIES reach exceeds its grasp. Re-staging NO, NO, NANETTE wasn't as simple as it seems. That production had a rocky road to Broadway too (chronicled in a wonderful book) but they were the company that caught lightning in a bottle. FOLLIES told its audiences that they were hopeless fools to fall for the entertainment of forty-five years past. Now forty-five years later, FOLLIES is to us what The Ziegfeld Follies were to it.

Indeed. And in the intervening years, NO, NO, NANETTE has had several revivals and concert stagings in New York, London, and Paris.

by Anonymousreply 16205/07/2015

R162, NO, NO, NANETTE proved its worth as musical theater entertainment by thriving in revival forty-five years after its debut, similar to the way FOLLIES has done in the after life of its failed original production. The difference is, the straight-forward show was always a hit while the sardonic one always closes in the red.

Here is a funny comparison. "Who's That Woman?" as choreographed by Michael Bennett is often called the greatest musical number ever staged. When it comes time for the tap dance, the orchestra slows down so that the eight old non-dancers can clomp their way through their old routine. By contrast, in NO, NO NANETTE, when Ruby Keeler breaks into a tap dance with the boys, the orchestra speeds up the tempo and the seventy-year-old hoofer shows the audience that she's still got it. The brilliance of the staging of "Who's That Woman?" sails over the heads of at least half its audience, while the mere spectacle of an old-fashioned tap dance led by an old-fashioned tap dancing star practically lifts the audience out of its seats. FOLLIES was the show that tried; NANETTE was the show that delivered.

The reverent attitude toward FOLLIES reminds me of the Anna Russell routine where she plays the chairwoman of the music society who reminds her audience that classical music is so important that we must show our respect and appreciation for it even if we hate it.

by Anonymousreply 16305/07/2015

Why are you even on this page, r161, r163?

by Anonymousreply 16405/07/2015

R164, people have been debating the merits of FOLLIES since it tried out in Boston. I assumed I was allowed to keep that debate lively on a thread devoted to the show in question. Don't get me wrong. I like FOLLIES. I just don't love it, and I do think it is seriously flawed. I am not alone in that opinion.

by Anonymousreply 16505/07/2015

Wasn't Ruby Keller considered not much of a dancer?

by Anonymousreply 16605/07/2015

r/122 Donna McKechnie's is the best "Losing My Mind." Yes, better than Collins. Although, I do have to admit that the first time I saw the 2011 revival, I felt kind of like I was punched in the gut when Peters took that last note up the octave. It sounded like a cry/wail/sob that hit me in a visceral place.

r/141, I'm the one that said that Peters seemed like she was in another show, and you're right: those choices DID work...sometimes. Bi-poloar or or borderline or "crazy" etc people DO seem out of place in a "normal" setting. From the moment she entered at the top of the show, it was obvious that she was fragile mentally, emotionally and every other -lly, right down to the orchestration with the one violin playing her theme underneath her dialogue. I would've loved to have seen her ease us into her crazy though, or surprise us by it--not let us see the full extent of it right from the top.

by Anonymousreply 16705/07/2015

[quote] Donna McKechnie's is the best "Losing My Mind." Yes, better than Collins.

Eh. No.

Julia McKenzie took it up the octave in London.

by Anonymousreply 16805/07/2015

Maybe, but should a torch song really be sung in soprano octave? I mean, I'm not really anxious to hear Laura Benanti sing "Stormy Weather" or Rebecca Luker try her hand at "The Man That Got Away" in their head voice. A torch song needs guts to it. Ergo, the octave up on that song doesn't do much for me.

by Anonymousreply 16905/07/2015

R167 wrote, "From the moment she entered at the top of the show, it was obvious that she was fragile mentally, emotionally and every other -lly, right down to the orchestration with the one violin playing her theme underneath her dialogue. I would've loved to have seen her ease us into her crazy though, or surprise us by it--not let us see the full extent of it right from the top."

God, that is so true - Peters had nowhere to go. Victoria Clark (when I saw her in NYC) was nervous and holding it together at the opening... she crumbled over the course of the evening/show.

Much more satisfying.

by Anonymousreply 17005/07/2015

I would've loved to have seen Clark. I've heard it, but I imagine to have seen it was thrilling.

by Anonymousreply 17105/07/2015

Wasn't Helen Morgan a soprano? Or at least a singer who sang mostly in head voice?

by Anonymousreply 17205/07/2015

[quote]FOLLIES gives you four unhappy people and doesn't care if you find them tedious or unpleasant. Who wants to pay money to sit through that?

Actually, a lot of us do. That is precisely the appeal of a lot of great art - including, say, the torch song. We often identify with miserable - and kind of get a morbid joy in relishing in it.

I don't think I've had a tedious life - but some of it has been unpleasant - and painful, and confusing, and mis-directed. There have been some really great highs and some profound regrets. A show like FOLLIES has deep, deep resonance for someone like me - and I am not such a unique bird to think that there aren't others like me out there. It might not be a mass audience, but there is a substantial enough audience for works like FOLLIES.

I also think it is so shallow to gauge a show's success by it's box office or length of run. Yes, some shows are dreadful and crash and burn and close quickly (and some shows are even more dreadful and run forever). But others are artistic successes and never quite find that mass audience.

by Anonymousreply 17305/07/2015

What are your opinions of Dorothy Collins' costume in Follies?

I remember that at the time, that pink dress with the huge 1950s crinoline seemed like a rather outlandish and unrealistic choice.

Wearing it, she certainly didn't have to play very crazy to appear to be coming apart emotionally.

by Anonymousreply 17405/07/2015

I'm happy you're here, R163, even though I don't see eye-to-eye with much of what you say. But I'm enjoying the discussion thoroughly!

by Anonymousreply 17505/07/2015

exactly, 174. She's out of touch and trying too hard. Genuis costume design.

by Anonymousreply 17605/07/2015

[quote]Wasn't Ruby Keller considered not much of a dancer?

Ruby was a clunky tap-dancer. But it's because she learned to tap pre-metal taps - in her day, tap shoes had a wooden toe and heel, and you had to really clunk it to make the sounds.

Metal taps came in in the 1930s. Some - like Astaire and Powell - realized the freedom it gave them to be lighter on their feet. Keeler stuck to tapping the way she always had.

by Anonymousreply 17705/07/2015

[quote] Ruby was a clunky tap-dancer. But it's because she learned to tap pre-metal taps - in her day, tap shoes had a wooden toe and heel, and you had to really clunk it to make the sounds.

[quote] Metal taps came in in the 1930s. Some - like Astaire and Powell - realized the freedom it gave them to be lighter on their feet. Keeler stuck to tapping the way she always had.

Interesting post. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 17805/07/2015

Millicent Martin's red dress in that clip looks rather racy for the mid-1970s.

by Anonymousreply 17905/07/2015

Dorothy Collins was best known as one of the singers on "Your Hit Parade," where she was famous for wearing Peter Pan collars. (No "Finding Neverland" jokes, please.) So was her "Follies" costume a reference or callback to that in any way?

by Anonymousreply 18005/07/2015

Did anyone have a first edition of Ted Chapin's book? I know Virginia Vestoff raised hell - treated to sue - over some reference to her, so he took it out of subsequent editions.

Something about an affair she was having? Someone told me, but I can't remember. Mine is a later edition.

by Anonymousreply 18105/07/2015

Neither of Collins' FOLLIES costumes had Peter Pan collars.

by Anonymousreply 18205/07/2015

Sorry, wrong Virginia. It was Virginia Sandifur who was upset with Chapin.

by Anonymousreply 18305/07/2015

Virginia Vestoff (who wasn't ever in Follies, was she?) or Virginia Sandifur (Young Phyllis, WEHT?)?

by Anonymousreply 18405/07/2015

Who could Virginia Sandifur have been having an affair with?

by Anonymousreply 18505/07/2015

Not Harvey Evans, one suspects. John McMartin?

by Anonymousreply 18605/07/2015

You can't have veteran performers in Follies anymore because guess what? They are all every last one of the fucking dead! The ones they have now are just old people. And who alive now outside of Sondheim was ever in the Roxy?

I saw both original Broadway productions of the revival of Nanette and Follies.

Nanette was a fabulous party where everyone was a dear friend, brilliantly charming, very funny and could dance up a storm.

Follies was the creation of the world and its' demise all in two and a half hours.

If you weren't around then I envy you your youth. But if you love musical theater then you have no idea what you missed and all you're living off of is thin gruel. That is your misfortune and bad luck.

by Anonymousreply 18705/07/2015

It was a casual mention of Sandifur's affair - I think it might have been with a married man. Not much, really, it wasn't like he said she was blowing chorus boys backstage, She pulled out of a subsequent Follies reunion event because Chapin was going to be there (so her pulled out so she could go - he felt very badly about it).

by Anonymousreply 18805/07/2015

Sandifur looking very blonde at a Follies event.

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by Anonymousreply 18905/07/2015

That event Virginia missed was probably Wall to Wall Sondheim. Ted Chapin introduced "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs" by the original young quartet and Michele Pawk played Phyllis.

by Anonymousreply 19005/07/2015

[quote]Wasn't Ruby Keller considered not much of a dancer?

Helen had a tap-dancing sister? Who knew?

by Anonymousreply 19105/07/2015

[quote]What are your opinions of Dorothy Collins' costume in Follies?'

The costume was a revelation, no costume has ever come close to it's brilliance.

by Anonymousreply 19205/07/2015

If Dorothy Collins' costume was so revelatory, why haven't subsequent productions ever used that concept for Sally's look?

by Anonymousreply 19305/08/2015

No. At the time, John McMartin was having an affair with the dancer who played Older Vanessa (of the Bolero D'Amour), who was actually youngish but had to make herself up to look older. I've forgotten her name.

by Anonymousreply 19405/08/2015

For some reason, I thought it was James Goldman Sandifur was fucking but I could be wrong.

by Anonymousreply 19505/08/2015

Not a fan of Victoria Clark because of her treatment of other actors. That being said, she was brilliant in the Los Angeles run. She was better than Bernadette.

by Anonymousreply 19605/08/2015

R195, that was indeed the story and Sandifur acted quite the diva as a result.

by Anonymousreply 19705/08/2015

That the New Broadway Cast Recording (2011 revival) didn't win a Grammy was a crime.

It's a brilliant recording.

by Anonymousreply 19805/08/2015

No wonder Sally Durant Plummer is Losing It

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by Anonymousreply 19905/08/2015

[R196] DISH please!

by Anonymousreply 20005/08/2015

I've got a First Edition of Chapin's book. The offending passage is on page 213: (from Chapin's diary of Fri, Feb 16)

"Virginia Sandifur is becoming a slight irritation to some members of the company because she is behaving like a star. Harvey Evans and Kurt Peterson (Young Buddy and Young Ben, respectively) joke about how Harvey liked "his" (Marti Rolph) better than Kurt liked "his" (Virginia). There is also a rumor that she's having an affair with Jim Goldman. Changing the subject slightly, Gene Nelson remarks that when Virginia first appeared onstage during the dress parade in a black wig and black-and-white dress she reminded him so much of his first wife that it was positively scary."

I guess the line about the affair with Goldman got deleted - don't know if the comment about people not liking her did too.

by Anonymousreply 20105/08/2015

That's like DATALOUNGE Cunty!

by Anonymousreply 20205/08/2015

Very out-of-character for Ted Chapin. I'll bet he's kicking himself for including it in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 20305/08/2015

I guess it explains why Virginia Sandifur never worked on Broadway again.

by Anonymousreply 20405/08/2015

Well, actually she did. I saw her in the very short-lived (but delightful) PERFECTLY FRANK in 1980.

by Anonymousreply 20505/08/2015

Ugh, Perfectly Frank was a piece of shit. It was okay in LA, but it stank to high heaven in New York.

by Anonymousreply 20605/08/2015

Virginia Sandifur had four Broadway credits after FOLLIES (and a few more before it.) Nothing that happened during FOLLIES prevented her from getting work on Broadway altogether.

by Anonymousreply 20705/08/2015

Well I enjoyed it, R206, so bugger off.

by Anonymousreply 20805/08/2015

Follies should only be played with drag queens. There is not a realistic female character in the whole show. It seems to have been written by gay guys and misogynistic straight men.

by Anonymousreply 20905/09/2015

[quote]It seems to have been written by gay guys and misogynistic straight men.


by Anonymousreply 21005/09/2015

What's not realistic about Phyllis or Carlotta? Or even, really, Sally? Hattie and Solange are pure camp, yes, but what about Stella?

by Anonymousreply 21105/09/2015

Or Sandra!

by Anonymousreply 21205/09/2015

Or Christine!

by Anonymousreply 21305/09/2015

That video of Alexis Smith being honored on This Is Your Life is such a gem! Thanks for posting.

Florence Klotz obviously had quite the crush on her.

by Anonymousreply 21405/09/2015

I wonder if Flossie Klotz ever feasted on the Smith snatch?

by Anonymousreply 21505/10/2015

I just watched the David Frost episode that featured Alexis Smith, Yvonne DeCarlo and Dorothy Collins.

Alexis Smith really does come across like ice. She clearly thought that she was leagues above the other two. Therefore I found it especially amusing that Yvonne DeCarlo seemed to get most of the attention and asked what it was like to be a movie star.

Dorothy Collins comes across as so niave.

And while I've seen it several times before, I still have a hard time watching Yvonne DeCarlo 'go up' during her performance of "I'm Still Here".

by Anonymousreply 21605/10/2015

r216, have you watched the clip of Alexis on This Is Your Life after the Follies curtain call?

While she's somewhat reserved, she seems very classy and smart. Not icy at all.

by Anonymousreply 21705/10/2015

I saw an interview with Hal Prince who said "There is a difference between Successes & Failures ... and Hits & Flops. FOLLIES was a great success ... that just happened to lose every nickel of its investment."

I don't see why so many people (especially here on the DL) find that such a difficult concept to grasp.

by Anonymousreply 21805/11/2015

[quote] I don't see why so many people (especially here on the DL) find that such a difficult concept to grasp.

Because this is a site for pointless bitchery. DLers love to argue. And to be contrarian. Though I wouldn't claim disliking Follies is contrarian. More people dislike or are indifferent to Follies than like it.

by Anonymousreply 21905/11/2015

Pacific Overtures was an enormous success in Prince's definition of the term and I still can't believe 40 years later that apex of mediocrity won. People were completely blinded by Bennett's beyond brilliant staging. But that book and score are as much a pile of shit today as they were in '75.

by Anonymousreply 22005/11/2015


by Anonymousreply 22105/11/2015

Has Ted Chapin ever partaken of the homosex?

by Anonymousreply 22205/11/2015

His FB page offers no clues. There is a picture with what appears to be a wife and two daughters.

But let's see ... expert on Follies and on musical theatre in general.

YOU do the math.

by Anonymousreply 22305/12/2015

Ted Chapin looks kinda like a cross between Tony Roberts and Ted Danson.

by Anonymousreply 22405/12/2015

I'm just a Broad

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by Anonymousreply 22505/12/2015

Chapin does go into how Yvonne De Carlo wanted him to be her "road husband". He didn't bite. She still looked pretty good c. 1970.

by Anonymousreply 22605/12/2015

Truly deserves the death penalty.

by Anonymousreply 22705/15/2015

Seems a bit extreme R227

by Anonymousreply 22805/15/2015

All Quiet in the FOLLIES Thread.

by Anonymousreply 22905/16/2015

Is Anybody Here?

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by Anonymousreply 23005/16/2015

Just saw a Playbill ad for Broadway on the Seas starring Ted Chapin?


Does he tell FOLLIES stories? ... do a FOLLIES Cabaret?

Has anyone seen him perform?

by Anonymousreply 23105/18/2015

He does "Can That Boy Foxtrot" and plays all three parts.

by Anonymousreply 23205/18/2015

R226 Yvonne was only in her late 40s

by Anonymousreply 23305/18/2015

Shouldn't the 1971 Follies really be considered a full-out Michael Bennett show? Hal Prince didn't really seem to do much, as he was relegated to the 'book scenes', which were so so thin and few.

by Anonymousreply 23405/22/2015

Which is why Prince made Bennett co-director as well as choreographer

by Anonymousreply 23505/22/2015

Did anyone here see Ballroom on Broadway? Would it hold up today?

by Anonymousreply 23605/22/2015

I'm reading Ted Chapin's book now, and am enjoying it. It details everything thoroughly, of course, but would love if it were a little more analytical.

I think Ethan Mordden should write a book about FOLLIES, and its effect and significance over the years since.

by Anonymousreply 23705/26/2015

Ethan's chapter on FOLLIES in his 1970's Broadway book, ONE MORE KISS, is a taste of how good a book that would be. When I read it, I was like "Oh, there could be so much more here."

by Anonymousreply 23805/27/2015

I'm waiting for the DL summer picnic. Screw the follies

by Anonymousreply 23905/27/2015

Why do blogs like this always bring out the mentally ill?

by Anonymousreply 24005/30/2015

R240 Bless your heart for thinking this is a blog.

by Anonymousreply 24105/30/2015

I assume this has already been posted at some point.

LiZa doing "Losing My Mind" on The Arsenio Hall Show in the '90s.

by Anonymousreply 24206/06/2015

Such a bizarre rendition - and of all songs to try to make into a 'pop' song!

by Anonymousreply 24306/06/2015

[quote]LiZa doing "Losing My Mind"

Autobiographical, in her case.

by Anonymousreply 24406/06/2015

I just read in Ted Chapin's book the reaction to the first reviews in Boston - including the most thoughtful and profound review, the one by Frank Rich in The Crimson. Rich's closing line, of course, states that it's as if the creators of Follies were staging their own funeral. It is a brilliant insight. Funny how Sondheim seemed to get it, but Hal Prince and Michael Bennett seemed genuinely perplexed.

If you haven't read Rich's review, it's posted above in R2.

by Anonymousreply 24506/18/2015

Anybody have an original FOLLIES Winter Garden (or Colonial Theatre) window card?

by Anonymousreply 24606/20/2015

Gross. We're all thinking it. Someone had to say it.

by Anonymousreply 24706/20/2015

Thinking what, r247?

by Anonymousreply 24806/20/2015

A community theatre in Thousand Oaks, CA will be doing FOLLIES in the fall. I think I'll have to see it!

by Anonymousreply 24906/20/2015

OTHER - I have been in two productions of FOLLIES. As a college student, I was Young Buddy; as an adult, Buddy.

by Anonymousreply 25006/21/2015

Kurt Peterson, who played young Ben in the original production, was a hot piece. (Although a little hard to see in this clip.)

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by Anonymousreply 25106/21/2015

So many people disparage the 2011 revival - but in the clip at R251 alone, the original costuming and choreography weren't nearly as good as in the revival. imho.

by Anonymousreply 25206/21/2015

Flossie's costumes for the original production were brilliant. Such attention to detail - down to purposely having part of Mary McCarty's hem of her "best dress" coming loose. Those costumes in the clip were perfect examples of period show costumes.

by Anonymousreply 25306/22/2015

Ethan Mordden has a new book out early 2016; 'On Sondheim: An Opinionated Guide'.

[quote]Mordden has pitched his tone to address the newcomer and the aficionado alike, with fresh insights and analysis of every single Sondheim show, from his first hits (West Side Story, 1957; Gypsy, 1959) to his most recent titles (Passion, 1994; Road Show, 2008). Each musical gets its own chapter, with articles as well on Sondheim's life and his major influences. Comprehensive bibliographical and discographical essays place the Sondheim literature and recordings in perspective. Writing with his usual blend of the scholarly and the popular-with a wicked sense of humor-Ethan Mordden reveals why Stephen Sondheim has become Broadway's most significant voice in the last fifty years.

by Anonymousreply 25406/24/2015

I met Ertha Kit about 1980 or 1981. If came up that there was a wild pot plant growing in the parking lot. She said she'd never seen a pot plant before, so I took her outside to show it to her. As I relate this story today, I wonder how naive could I have possibltpy been that I believed her?

by Anonymousreply 25507/01/2015

Honey, you should be more ashamed about how you spelled her name.

by Anonymousreply 25607/01/2015

So it seems pretty clear from his book that Ted Chapin was doing Yvonne DeCarlo during the original FOLLIES ...

by Anonymousreply 25707/07/2015

Jan Maxwell Retires From Theatre.

Could I Leave You? YES!

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by Anonymousreply 25807/08/2015

I can't believe Jan is 58! She looks great.

by Anonymousreply 25907/08/2015

I've only very recently "discovered" Follies. I got the 'Follies in Concert' DVD the other week and I've been offline for about 10 days, so - in lieu of anything better to do - I've rewatched the film about 8 times this week. I love it so much. George Hearn seems like a particularly warm and lovely man. I've heard several versions of "Broadway Baby" over the years and it always ends in a triumphant, rousing way; but I notice on the OBC recording that Ethel Shutta sings it differently, by ending on that brilliant, kind of exasperated descent in her voice. Having said that, every time I watched Elaine Stritch bring the house down in the 1985 film it brought tears to my eyes. I know, MARY!; but I guess I'm just quite emotional lately because that's true of so much of the songs: Licia Albanese and Erie Mills singing "One More Kiss"; Barbara Cook and George Hearn singing "Too Many Mornings".

It's a good film, I think. I really like the sense you get of the way it comes together over the course of four days and the energy and anxiety backstage on the night. They talk to all the main cast apart from Mandy Patinkin. I wondered why that might be. I've heard some of the stories about him being "difficult" but he seems kind of self-contained and focused in the film.

by Anonymousreply 26007/14/2015

What about me?

by Anonymousreply 26107/14/2015

Ron, I thought you were WONDERFUL.

You were an excellent Ben.

by Anonymousreply 26207/15/2015

Oh look, a comment from Ron's FAN.

by Anonymousreply 26307/15/2015

So are most of the DL Follies fans gone now? The thread's been virtually dead for the last month or so. Most of the people who started and contributed to old Hollywood threads seem to have gone now too. In fact, most of the stuff that first attracted me to DL has disappeared in the last couple of months.

by Anonymousreply 26407/15/2015

They're starting to discuss FOLLIES again over in the THEATRE GOSSIP #180 thread! They need to come over here before all the Fun Home and Hamilton enthusiasts/gaylings start screeching.

by Anonymousreply 26508/13/2015

R260 I find the Follies in Concert doc frustrating. I would love to see the entire show, not just snippets. Here and there. I mean, I assume it must exist somewhere. Why not put it together and release it?

Mandy was too young. And I don't like the rewritten dialogue they gave Buddy at the end.

by Anonymousreply 26608/14/2015

I did not know that Rita Rudner was in the original Broadway production of Follies. As a replacement - but still!

by Anonymousreply 26708/19/2015

Save The Colonial! FOLLIES' Boston home!

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by Anonymousreply 26809/03/2015

I hate it when these beautiful theatres get 're-purposed'.

by Anonymousreply 26909/03/2015

Maybe we can get them to dim the lights for the death of Boston's Colonial Theatre.

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by Anonymousreply 27009/03/2015

Oops, sorry for the repost. I thought I was in the Theatre Gossip #182 thread.

by Anonymousreply 27109/03/2015

I'm one of those gay men who seen just about every production and concert version of this show starting with the original. So of course I have my views on it. As for I'm Still Here! Elaine Paige and Dolores Gray,( in London) nail it. DeCarlo was fun, but Nancy Walker was excellent. Not many people know this but the night of that Sondheim Concert, someone else was to do the song. Whoever it was took ill. Walker was asked to do it. She learn the song in an hour, read the music while performing it and got a standing ovation at the end. That'a a pro!

by Anonymousreply 27209/03/2015

R272 that's a neat story about Nancy Walker, but I don't see how she could learn all those lyrics in an hour.

by Anonymousreply 27309/03/2015

And R273, sell it like it was written for her.

by Anonymousreply 27409/04/2015

[quote]She learn the song in an hour, read the music while performing it and got a standing ovation at the end. That'a a pro!

That's also a very indulgent audience, who were probably standing in appreciation of her effort more than her results.

by Anonymousreply 27509/04/2015

I hope they save the Colonial Theatre. It is a gem and much Broadway tryout history was made there.

by Anonymousreply 27609/04/2015

I was there, Sondheim crazies are always indulgent. But not in this case, Walker version was smart, witty, and very to the point. She told the story of an actress's life. She deserved the ovation.

by Anonymousreply 27709/04/2015

I yield to your superior judgment, R277. I am glad to hear Nancy Walker was truly that wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 27809/04/2015

I've always felt Walker's version was one of the (if not THE) best

by Anonymousreply 27909/09/2015

What is best recording of FOLLIES available?

by Anonymousreply 28009/19/2015

From the poll: OTHER -- I've performed in two productions of FOLLIES.

by Anonymousreply 28109/19/2015

Where, R281. With anyone of note?

by Anonymousreply 28209/19/2015

R280 I believe Sondheim himself said the most recent Broadway revival was the best full recording.

I would say you're pretty much covered if you get the original Broadway cast, the 1985 Avery Fisher Hall Benefit Concert, and the most recent Broadway revival.

by Anonymousreply 28309/23/2015

I absolutely LOVE the 2011 revival recording. I was quite dismayed that it didn't win any Grammys, though.

by Anonymousreply 28409/23/2015

The Papermill recording is only good for McKechnie and the "cut" numbers

by Anonymousreply 28509/24/2015

Mckechnie is a mouth breather. It's incredibly noticeable on the Peppermill recording. Hearing her gasp for breath after every line is distracting at best.

by Anonymousreply 28609/24/2015

More on the Colonial in Boston ...

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by Anonymousreply 28710/08/2015

Sign the petition (started by Frank Rich) to save the Colonial!

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by Anonymousreply 28810/09/2015

When Edith does Sally.

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by Anonymousreply 28910/22/2015

Well that sucks. The video @ R289 has been disabled. Jean Stapleton gave a heartfelt - albeit vocally weak - rendition of Losing My Mind ...

by Anonymousreply 29010/23/2015

Was Ted Chapin fucking Yvonne DeCarlo? And why did he have it in for Fifi D'Orsay?

by Anonymousreply 29111/12/2015

Fifi was notoriously difficult during the Follies rehearsals. She hated that Ethel Shutta's "Broadway Baby" was better than her song.

by Anonymousreply 29201/15/2016

Love the wtory of Ethel telling Fifi "squattez-vous"

by Anonymousreply 29301/15/2016

I know nothing about this shit. I just posted here because I feel sorry for OP that we didn't "hit 600 quickly."

by Anonymousreply 29401/15/2016

R294 Sshhh this is an exclusive club.

by Anonymousreply 29501/24/2016

Sometimes I just love theatre queens

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by Anonymousreply 29602/04/2016

R296, that was an awesome way to spend 10 minutes. Thanks for providing the link.

by Anonymousreply 29702/04/2016

You are certainly welcome R297. I was very impressed as well.

by Anonymousreply 29802/04/2016

Marriages like the ones depicted in "Follies" and "Company" are an endangered species in these days of liberalized divorce laws.

by Anonymousreply 29902/04/2016


by Anonymousreply 30007/31/2016

I loved the recent(ish) Broadway revival. Saw it in LA with Vicki Clark instead of Bernie. Would have preferred Bernie (weepiness and all), but it was still such a thrill to see. I know eldergays often tell us that it can't hold a candle to the original production. But I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we don't see a full scale revival like that with a starry cast and - blessedly - full orchestra ever again. What a joy it was to hear that score played by 31 brilliant musicians. Wish I'd had a chance to go back again.

by Anonymousreply 30108/01/2016

love this thread!

I was amazed when I found out that Aunt Maggie was in the original Follies!

by Anonymousreply 30207/30/2020

Well hi, girls! Ben... Sally. Let's dish.

I once heard a rumor Lena Horne was originally offered Carlotta at the Papermill's Follies before Annie Miller got to warble her troubles away in New Jersey. Also (and even less believable), Roundabout originally planned their revival with Queen Mary Louise and her old Yale School of Drama classmate Susan Weaver. Weren't Maria Friedman and Kim Cattrall originally announced for the Kennedy Center? Speakin' of DC... Linda Lavin really did try her best to turn "Broadway Baby" into "I'm Still Here" in DC, but... Jayne Houdyshell? One can only wonder who turned down the chance to sing Sondheim in one of midtown Manhtattan's finest hotel pavilions. Was Chita really offered the replacement Solange gig for the woefully lost Regine? It is always nice to see Mary Beth Piel get a check though... especially in Dietrich drag.

Any progress on Dominic Cooke 's movie version based off his pretty wonderful National Theatre production or shall it live forever in development purgatory due to the pandemic? A million thanks to whatever Lounger keeps posting the NT Live film! If we never get a direct transfer to Broadway of this production, here's hoping Lincoln Center mounts a big lavish spectacle with the original book, orchestrations, and some variation of Michael Bennett's the mirror number a la the Bette, Hello Dolly! revival. I'd love to see if even for a one nite benefit Audra as Sally with Vanessa Williams as Carlotta but am having trouble thinking of a suitable Phyllis. Can Regina King or Kerri Washington sing? Phyllis isn't the toughest night at the opera but one does need some melodic sensibilities. Too bad Phylicia Rashad is a generation removed. Andre de Sheilds as Dimitri Weissman, Ken Page as Roscoe, Leslie Uggams as Hattie, Jennifer Holliday as Stella, with a special appearance by Leontyne Price as Heidi. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Ben Vereen are probably too old for Ben and Buddy, but Norm Lewis and Wayne Brady just don't seem right.

R94, I watched a Hal Prince interview recentlyish where he talks about a meeting with an MGM exec after the original production closed regarding a potential movie version using a soon to be torn down studio and clips from their catalogue of movie musicals. Cut to MGM releasing That's Entertainment! a couple years later. I do often wonder who might have starred in a 1975 technicolor spectacular... Shirley Maclaine and Audrey Hepburn (with loads of help from Marni Nixon and Lisa Kirk) fighting over Rock Hudson. Jack Lemmon fidgeting around with his tuxedo collar. Natalie Wood, Ann-Margret, or Lauren Bacall lamenting her old cut Follies number.

by Anonymousreply 30307/31/2020
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