Stephen Sondheim's Follies, a musical that has never been staged professionally in Australia, has recieved lavish praise from critics after three concert performances at the Sydney Opera House.
Following a similar presentation at the Melbourne Festival of Arts in 1995, this production has been a highlight of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The veteran cast featured an impressive gathering of legends of Australian musical theatre,including Toni Lamond, Jill Perryman, Judi Connelli, Terence Donovan and Ron Haddrick. Todd McKenney and Leonie Page led the younger performers.
To follow are excerpts from major critics: David Vance in The Sydney Morning Herald: "Judi Connelli's performance was the highlight for her sheer presence and the glimpse of genuine feeling beneath her character's brittle exterior."
Bryce Hallett in The Australian: "The cast make unforgettable showbusiness magic,the like of which is nowadays rare or perhaps lost."
The third and final performance was on Monday night. The show was directed by Stephen Helper with musical director Tommy Tycho. --By Peter Ford