Unceremoniously dumped from the Broadway production of The Producers, veteran British actor Henry Goodman will make a speedy return to the stage this summer in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Royal Festival Hall.
Goodman will portray Buddy in the Sondheim musical, which also casts Kathryn Evans as Sally, Louise Gold as Phyllis, Diane Langton as Carlotta and Clarke Peters as Ben. The classic musical, which was revived on Broadway in 2001 with a cast led by Judith Ivey, Blythe Danner, Treat Williams, Gregory Harrison and Polly Bergen, was last seen in London in 1987 starring Diana Rigg, Julia McKenzie, Daniel Massey, David Healy and Dolores Gray. The Royal Festival Hall version will feature direction by Paul Kerryson, musical direction by Julian Kelly and designs by Paul Farnsworth. David Needham will choreograph.
An Olivier Award-winning actor, Goodman has starred on the London stage in The Merchant of Venice, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Feelgood, Angels in America and City of Angels as well as in numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Prior to his official opening in the New York production of The Producers, Goodman was fired by Mel Brooks, who believed his performance in the role originated onstage by Nathan Lane was not sufficiently comical.
Set in an old dilapidated theatre about to be torn down, Follies boasts a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. The musical premiered at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre in April 1971 with a score that features such tunes as "Beautiful Girls," "Broadway Baby," "In Buddy's Eyes," "I'm Still Here," "Could I Leave You?," "Losing My Mind" and "Who's That Woman?" Among the original cast were Dick Latessa, Alexis Smith, Yvonne De Carlo, John McMartin, Gene Nelson and Dorothy Collins.
Follies will play Aug. 3 through Aug 31 at the Royal Festival Hall, with an official opening set for Aug. 6. The famed Hall is located on Belvedere Road in London, England. Tickets, ranging from £8 to £40, are available by calling the theatre's box office at 011 44 020 7960 4242.