From June 23-July 16, the theatre that debuted The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will present the classic musical about a reunion of former follies stars. According to the Barrington's official website, the cast will include Tony Award winners Donna McKechnie and Karen Ziemba, Urinetown's Jeff McCarthy, Leslie Denniston and Lara Teeter. Julianne Boyd will direct the production with choreography by Teeter.
Follies, which was revived on Broadway in 2001 with a cast led by Judith Ivey, Blythe Danner, Treat Williams, Gregory Harrison and Polly Bergen, is set in a dilapidated theatre about to be torn down and features a book by James Goldman. The musical premiered at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre in April 1971 with a score that boasts such tunes as "Beautiful Girls," "Broadway Baby," "In Buddy's Eyes," "I'm Still Here," "Could I Leave You?," "Losing My Mind" and "Who's That Woman?" Among the original cast were Dick Latessa, Alexis Smith, Yvonne De Carlo, John McMartin, Gene Nelson and Dorothy Collins.
Best known for her Tony-winning performance as Cassie in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie has appeared in a plethora of musicals both on and Off-Broadway, some of which include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Company, State Fair, Can-Can, Annie Get Your Gun, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road, State Fair and Promises, Promises. In her first full length, one-woman musical celebration, Inside the Music, McKechnie performed songs from several of these productions and offered personal anecdotes about her experiences with some of the theatre’s finest actors, directors, producers and writers. A live recording of that act was released on the Fynsworth Alley label. McKechnie is now working on her autobiography — with writer Greg Lawrence — for Simon & Schuster.
Karen Ziemba won a Tony Award portraying the Wife in Susan Stroman's Contact. She has also starred on Broadway in Never Gonna Dance, Chicago, Steel Pier, Crazy for You and 42nd Street, and her Off Broadway work includes a Drama Desk Award-winning performance in And the World Goes 'Round as well as roles in I Do! I Do!, 110 in the Shade and The Most Happy Fella. She also headlined the City Center Encores! presentation of Pajama Game.
The Barrington season will continue with The Importance of Being Earnest (July 21-Aug. 7) and William Finn's Elegies: A Song Cycle (Aug. 11-28). Visit www.barringtonstageco.org for more information. The Barrington Stage Company is located within the Consolati Performing Arts Center at 491 Berkshire School Road. The box office can be reached by calling (413) 528-8888.