As reported first on Playbill On-Line and now confirmed as part of Roundabout Theatre’s 2000-2001 season, director Matthew Warchus will direct the company’s upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's hit musical, Follies. The revival of Follies is expected to run at the American Airlines Theatre in the spring of 2001, a production source told Playbill On-Line.
The creative team will be put together first, in the coming weeks, and the cast will be announced at an unspecified future date. "We're talking about the spring of 2001," a production source said, "so they have some time."
When Playbill On-Line first broke the story on Jan. 20, a joint statement was provided by Follies' composer Stephen Sondheim and Bobby Goldman, widow of Follies book writer, James Goldman. They indicated that while "an upcoming New York production of the 1971 musical is not a certainty...we're thrilled that there is so much interest in the possibility. If a new production of Follies ever becomes a reality, we will be delighted to share the news."
That news came two months later -- first during a Sondheim appearance with composer Ned Rorem at the 92nd Street Y on Sun., March 19, and again in the Roundabout season schedule announcement released on March 23.
As reported earlier, Warchus, the director of the Olivier Award and Tony Award-winning play Art, is back on Broadway this spring with a new production of Sam Shepard's True West. The original Hal Prince production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in 1971 was co-directed by Prince and Michael Bennett. Bennett choreographed the show. Costumes were by Florence Klotz. In all, the show won seven Tony Awards. With book by James Goldman and sets by Boris Aronson, Follies had a pre-Broadway run at Boston's Colonial Theatre before opening on Broadway at the Winter Garden. Broadway's original Follies closed in 1972.
Follies has been revived sporadically, and the New York Philharmonic performed a successful concert version of Follies in 1985 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. That performance, which was recorded for RCA and produced by Thomas Z. Shepard, featured Barbara Cook, Carol Burnett, Lee Remick, Mandy Patinkin and Elaine Stritch.