Starry Follies Cast Recording Remains at Top of Billboard Top Cast Album Chart

News   Starry Follies Cast Recording Remains at Top of Billboard Top Cast Album Chart The cast recording of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies, which arrived in stores on the PS Classics label Nov. 29, remained at #1 on the Billboard Top Cast Album chart for the week ending Dec. 11.

Cover art for Follies
Cover art for Follies

The two-disc set, according to Nielsen Soundscan, has now sold nearly 10,000 units.

Philip Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics, told Playbill.com, "We dropped only 49 percent in week two, which is remarkable for us; most of our cast albums drop more like 75 percent, because, of course, week one include three months of preorders. We're getting attention from mainstream retailers with this CD, the likes of which we haven't seen since our cast album of Nine: The Musical back in 2003, and as with that CD, it's being fueled by customer word-of-mouth." The label reports that the retail chain Best Buy will begin carrying the new recording Dec. 20.

To purchase the recording, click here.

Follies, which won the 1971 Tony Award for Best Score, has a book by Goldman and music and lyrics by Sondheim.

The Kennedy Center revival now at Broadway's Marquis Theatre first appeared at the Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC, May 7-June 19. It opened at the Marquis on Sept. 12. Eric Schaeffer directs (and Warren Carlyle choreographs) a cast that includes two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, Ron Raines as Ben Stone, Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion, Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, and more.

James Moore serves as music director and conducts the 28-piece orchestra. Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations are being employed for the production. The original cast album severely truncated the ambitious score.

The track listing for the two-disc set follows:

Disc One:
Prologue
Overture
"Welcome to our first - and last - reunion..."
Beautiful Girls
"You came; you’re really here..."
Don’t Look at Me
"I never get to talk..."
Waiting for the Girls Upstairs
Rain on the Roof
Ah, Paris!
Broadway Baby
The Road You Didn't Take
"Bargains, Buddy..."
In Buddy's Eyes
"Let's dish. Tell me everything..."
Who's That Woman?

Disc Two:
"I had a Follies number once..."
I'm Still Here
Too Many Mornings
The Right Girl
"Men are so sweet..."
One More Kiss
"According to statistics..."
Could I Leave You?
"You'll make a good wife, Phyl..."
Loveland
You're Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through
The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues
Losing My Mind
The Story of Lucy and Jessie
Live, Laugh, Love
Chaos
End of Show

The discs feature a 52-page full-color booklet with essay, synopsis, lyrics, production photos and a brief note from producer Krasker.

Ron Raines and Bernadette Peters in Follies.
photo by Joan Marcus

Follies was originally co-directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett on Broadway in 1971. Since then, it has received a legendary star-filled concert at Lincoln Center in 1985 (preserved on recording), a Roundabout revival on Broadway directed by Matthew Warchus in 2001 (not recorded), a City Center Encores! production in 2007 (not recorded) and numerous regional mountings, including a Paper Mill Playhouse engagement that featured Donna McKechnie and the late Ann Miller (preserved on a cast album). The original cast recording and a London cast recording that includes songs written for that run are also on the market.

PS Classics has preserved many Sondheim productions including Sondheim on Sondheim, The Frogs, Road Show and the most recent revivals of A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Pacific Overtures and Assassins.

Follies concerns a group of former "Follies" stars who return to the site of their former glory, the Weismann Theatre, which is about to be demolished. Old wounds resurface as two Follies stars (Phyllis and Sally) and their husbands (Benjamin and Buddy) reassess their lives and what could have been.

Among the show's songs are "Beautiful Girls," "Don't Look at Me," "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Rain on the Roof," "Ah, Paris!," "Broadway Baby," "The Road You Didn't Take," "In Buddy's Eyes," "Who's That Woman?," "I'm Still Here," "Too Many Mornings," "The Right Girl," "One More Kiss," "Could I Leave You?," "Loveland," "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," "Love Will See Us Through," "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues," "Losing My Mind," "The Story of Lucie and Jessie" and "Live, Laugh, Love."

The company also includes Don Correia as Theodore Whitman, Christian Delcroix as Young Buddy, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Rosalind Elias as Heidi Schiller, Colleen Fitzpatrick as Dee Dee West, Lora Lee Gayer as Young Sally, Michael Hayes as Roscoe, Leah Horowitz as Young Heidi, Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell as Hattie Walker, Florence Lacey as Sandra Crane, Tony Award nominee Mary Beth Peil as Solange LaFitte, David Sabin as Dimitri Weismann, Kirsten Scott as Young Phyllis, Frederick Strother as Max Deems, Nick Verina as Young Ben, Tony Award nominee Susan Watson as Emily Whitman and Terri White as Stella Deems.

Follies is produced on Broadway by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (David M. Rubenstein, Chairman; Michael M. Kaiser, President; Max Woodward, Vice President); Nederlander Presentations, Inc.; Adrienne Arsht; HRH Foundation, Sponsor; Allan Williams, Executive Producer.

The production will end its Broadway run Jan. 22, 2012; a May engagement is planned for Los Angeles' Ahmanson.

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Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and a six-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music and Sondheim on Sondheim), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song through its award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Kate Baldwin, Jessica Molaskey and Christine Andreas (among others); and recordings drawn from rare sound archives, including "Sondheim Sings." Summer releases include studio cast albums of the Gershwins' 1930 Strike Up the Band, the long-lost Vernon Duke/Ogden Nash musical Sweet Bye and Bye, plus the live concert album of She Loves Him, Tony nominee Baldwin's tribute to songwriter Sheldon Harnick

PS Classics recently released the Joshua Schmidt-Jan Tranen score to A Minister's Wife, a new musical based on Bernard Shaw's Candida. Visit the label's website, www.psclassics.com.

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