I'm Still Here: The Essential Elaine Stritch on Disc
15 Feb 2014
"Follies in Concert" (Recorded Live at Lincoln Center 1985)
As Stritch tells the tale today, Stephen Sondheim initially balked at her request to play Hattie Walker and sing "Broadway Baby" in this historic gala presentation of Follies; he thought she was too young. But Stritch has always been cast (and cast well) in roles decades her senior. Arguably, it's only recently, in her 80s, that she's finally caught up with her image. Or maybe it started in "Follies in Concert." She brings out great pathos in the underside of Sondheim's paean to working actors, all while mining it for every morsel of dazzle in her singular style.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.