Though there are no definite plans yet for the Paper Mill Playhouse's star studded production of Follies to move to Manhattan, Broadway producers and backers have been making the trip across the Hudson to take in previews of the revival of the Sondheim-Goldman musical, which opens April 24.
Paper Mill spokesman Dennis Dougherty confirmed reports that various potential investors and producers had attended the show, and that others were expected to come, though he could not name any specific parties. Dougherty added that the Paper Mill had not begun formal talks about a transfer with anyone.
Several Paper Mill shows have been considered or actually announced for Broadway over the years, includes productions of the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit Phantom, a musicalization of the film Paper Moon, revivals of Show Boat and Mack and Mabel, an original musical called Sayonara, and, as the sole non-musical contender, Two Into One, a British farce by Ray Cooney.
A few Paper Mill productions have been luckier, including a revival of You Can't Take It With You and a production of Run for Your Wife, both of which transferred to Broadway. Other Paper Mill shows have made it to New York, while not technically to the Great White Way. Among these are New Moon, Desert Song, and The Merry Widow, all of which were picked up by the New York City Opera. Also, the dramatization of The Wizard of Oz, which returns to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden this May for a second year, is based on a Paper Mill production.
The revival of Follies, which stars Phyllis Newman, Kaye Ballard, Donna McKechnie, Dee Hoty, Lillian Montevecchi, Eddie Bracken and Tony Roberts, officially opens on April 24. Dougherty said that sales are strong, but tickets are still available. -- By Robert Simonson