Offers have just started to go out for some of the parts in the upcoming Roundabout revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's musical Follies. Still, casting will continue for another week or more at least.
Given the level of anticipation over the Follies revival, rumors about the cast-in-the-making are understandable. One source close to the production has the cast comprising Judith Ivey (Sally), Jean Smart (Phyllis), Dan Butler (Buddy) and Gregory Harrison (Ben). None of these names could be confirmed by producers.
"Casting is ongoing," a production spokesperson told Playbill On-Line. "I can't qualify any of those names other than to say that some of them have been seen, while some have not."
The production source said that "some offers have started to go out."
Meanwhile, there is no theatre booked for the show. Asked if the Belasco was a possibility the producers' spokesperson said, "There is no theatre. They have looked at several, but no decision has been made." Speculation and intrigue have surrounded the development of the revival of Follies since January when, in a joint statement provided exclusively to Playbill On-Line, Follies' composer Stephen Sondheim and Bobby Goldman (widow of Follies book writer, James Goldman) stated that the upcoming New York production of the 1971 musical was not a certainty. "Although several reports have recently appeared, there are currently no specific plans for a New York production of Follies," the statement read. "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."
Playbill On-Line first reported on Jan. 20 that Matthew Warchus was in talks to direct a possible upcoming Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Follies. The story was later picked up by NBC. In March, Roundabout officially announced the scheduling of the show as part of its current season.
Warchus staged the Olivier Award and Tony Award winning play Art, and the recent Broadway 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 ran 522 performances and 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. The show employs a then-and-now look at a chorus line, portraying the aging cast members at a 1971 reunion juxtaposed with their "younger selves."
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.