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The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread
http://musicals.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=82926
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Author:  RainbowJude [ Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Although there's been some perfunctory discussion about the 2011 Follies revival in other threads, particularly about the run prior to its transfer, it seems as though we haven't actually created a dedicated thread for news, views and discussions about the show. So here we go.

A great kick off to this thread, I think, is the news that has been rippling though social networks about the recording. Terri White tweeted that the show will be getting a recording while Danny Burstein posted on Facebook that the recording will include the complete score on 2 discs. (Complete, I suppose, except for "Bolero d'Amour", which I hear was still not reinstated when this production transferred.)

Author:  Hans [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Theard

RainbowJude wrote:
A great kick off to this thread, I think, is the news that has been rippling though social networks about the recording. Terri White tweeted that the show will be getting a recording while Danny Burstein posted on Facebook that the recording will include the complete score on 2 discs.


Ah, sir, happy news indeed \:D/

I'd like there to be a few bonus tracks, for example the coveted The World's Full of Girls/Boys, which I believe is the only song written for the show that hasn't been recorded anywhere yet?

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

I'm so excited for this recording. Jan Maxwell is phenomenal as Phyllis, as is Danny Burstein as Buddy. I'm not sure how much I enjoy Bernadette in the part, but I'm not quibbling with getting a full recording of Follies at last!

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Sorry to double post, but THIS JUST IN:

Talkin' Broadway reports that last night the show played without an interval, a la the original production. That's 135 solid minutes.

I don't think there is a right place in Follies to put the interval, and it works better without it. However, I don't know if audiences today will be happy to sit through 2 hours of theatre without getting up to refill their feedbags. Still, at least they're using previews to find out what works for the show.

Author:  RainbowJude [ Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Felix Felicis wrote:
Talkin' Broadway reports that last night the show played without an interval, a la the original production. That's 135 solid minutes. I don't think there is a right place in Follies to put the interval, and it works better without it. However, I don't know if audiences today will be happy to sit through 2 hours of theatre without getting up to refill their feedbags. Still, at least they're using previews to find out what works for the show.

This is fantastic news and I hope it sticks. This is the way Follies was meant to be seen and its worth the refilling of a thousand feedbags. If people can sit through a film of that length, then they can do it in the theatre too.

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

I have a Follies question that you might be able to help with, David - I'm posting from my iPod so I have to be brief:

Why is it Ben's folly that causes Loveland to crumble? At least in this production, Sally is the clear centre of the story. I know they tried to change this for the London production, but I haven't listened to that recording yet. I don't understand why Ben's problem is any greater than that of the others.

Sorry for the brevity.

Author:  RainbowJude [ Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Felix Felicis wrote:
Why is it Ben's folly that causes Loveland to crumble?

Ben's folly has been a catalyst for the follies of the other three principal characters. Of course, they are all ultimately responsbile for their own actions, but he (and his) is the common thread that links them all together.

In other news, the intermission is back = FAIL. :thumbdown:

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Yes that's what I thought. I suppose it's just unfortunate that the focus of this production is so heavily influenced by Peters' and Burstein's performances, meaning that Ben's role in proceedings is less central.
Here is some fantastic footage:
http://broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=269231

Author:  RainbowJude [ Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:40 am ]
Post subject:  The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Felix Felicis wrote:
I suppose it's just unfortunate that the focus of this production is so heavily influenced by Peters' and Burstein's performances, meaning that Ben's role in proceedings is less central.

You know what? I'm still not convinced by the idea of Peters as Sally, although I think Burstein is a great piece of casting as Buddy. But sure, the point is that for an ideal Follies, the four leads need to be perfectly cast for the piece to work as it should.

Meanwhile, the cast recording is available for pre-order at Amazon. Here's the cover, featuring the show's artwork, which has really grown on me and which I like better than any other Follies artwork since the original.

Image

I also stumbled across this review on the Upstage-Downstage blog today, which included a quotation that put into words one of the reasons that Follies is the landmark musical that it is:

ProfMiller wrote:
Follies is a must-see show that serves as a touchstone between the musical theater history it tapped into and the next generation of musicals that it influenced.

That it most certainly is. The only quibble I had with the review was the section where the reviewer was comparing Bernadette Peters with Barbara Cook, calling Cook incomparable. Now, as I've said, I am not convinced about Peters being Sally, so this is not actually about comparing the two for me, but about Cook's own merits as an artist. Cook might have (had) the vocal range for Sally, but she I don't think she had the acting chops for it when she was the right age for the role. Certainly, her performance in Follies in Concert was, well, undercooked, even though that was a concert and it could be argued that she shouldn't be expected to fully inhabit the character in that context. There was a point, I think, in Cook's career where she developed a persona that worked against fully rounded characterisation, despite her brilliant ability to emote and connect emotionally to a song while singing it and deliver in a manner that is exemplary in regard to its technique too. Her recordings of Sally's songs are just that, but Cook doesn't shakes her own persona in service of the character in any of them. I doubt whether she would have been able to achieve that in a full production of the show.

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

The revival has been getting great reviews!
Here's an overview

It's a shame that some of the problems from DC remain, but it sounds like the re-casting has paid off and everyone's performance has improved measurably. Only two months until the cast recording!

Author:  RainbowJude [ Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

Felix Felicis wrote:
The revival has been getting great reviews! Here's an overview.

A better overview of the reviews can be seen at StageGrade, which has collected 32 reviews by critics as opposed to the 5 that appear on DidHeLikeIt. Their summary of the critics' opinions is as follows:

Linda Buchwald wrote:
Though the original 1971 production of Follies was a financial failure, the musical is largely revered in the theater community, and every production of it comes with huge expectations. This production comes to Broadway via the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and critics who saw it there applaud director Eric Schaeffer for addressing most of the show's problems. Some critics consider this to be the finest revival of Follies to date, even while admitting that the flaws inherent in James Goldman's book are not completely overcome. Jan Maxwell's Phyllis and Danny Burstein's Buddy get almost universal raves, while the critics are divided about Bernadette Peters's Sally; some find her performance has deepened from the D.C. production, but some still think she's miscast.

Well, it is not hard for this to be the finest revival of Follies to date with the previous revivals all being deeply flawed in one way or another. I always chuckle a little when people criticise Goldman's book, because we never see the original book anymore thanks to Goldman's widow and almost all of Goldman's revisions were misfires. Also, so many people seem to assume that the book of Follies is written in musical play mode and evaluate it using those expectations when Follies is anything but a standard book musical. It's a one act concept musical that is more often than not disrupted by an interval and which isn't focused on the external action of what happens at the Follies reunion but on the internal action that is brought about by the Follies reunion. People would be so much happier if, referencing the original logo, the show was about the showgirl and not the crack that runs down her face.

Image

I also found this review this morning, "Stumbling Down Memory Lane", in the Gay City News. I really enjoyed reading it because the critic understood the show he was reviewing. So many criticisms of Follies come purely from misunderstanding the show itself. Have a read. You'll see what I mean.

Author:  Felix Felicis [ Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The 2011 FOLLIES Revival Thread

I'm so impatient to get my copy of the new cast recording. Though it was released a few days ago, it probably won't get here for another couple of weeks - devastating.
Judging by 'Don't Look at Me' it's going to be wonderful.

SCRATCH THAT - it's arrived!
I'll post detail thoughts later, but having just started listening, the orchestra sounds incredible.

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