Sondheim Clarifies Plans for New York Production of Follies

News   Sondheim Clarifies Plans for New York Production of Follies 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 an upcoming New York production of the 1971 musical is not a certainty.

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 an upcoming New York production of the 1971 musical is 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.

However, the statement coming from Sondheim and Goldman, as rights holders, would tend to preclude news of other developments simply because they are rights holders.

* As earlier reported, Warchus is currently in discussions to mount a possible upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Warchus' London representative, Pauline Esper, said talks were underway, but that nothing has been signed. Warchus, the director of the Olivier Award and Tony Award winning play Art, is due back on Broadway this spring with a new production of Sam Shepard's True West.

Roundabout sources could not confirm Warchus' involvement at this time but did say the show is scheduled to run at the Roundabout's new home, the former Selwyn on West 42nd Street, which is still under construction.

"Follies will run at the Roundabout's new theatre, but the show is still a year and a half away from opening," a production source told Playbill On-Line.

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. The show employs a then-and-now look at a chorus line; that is, Follies portrays the aging cast members at a 1971 reunion juxtaposed with their "younger selves" as they last appeared together in 1941.

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 (still on Broadway with the Sondheim revue, Putting It Together), Lee Remick, Mandy Patinkin and Elaine Stritch.