"Each a Gem, A Beautiful Diadem": Starry Follies Opens at the Kennedy Center May 21

By Andrew Gans
May 21, 2011

Some of the biggest talents on both sides of the Atlantic are featured in the cast of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies, which officially opens May 21 following previews that began May 7.



The starry company is headed by two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, four-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, two-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone and Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion. 

The production also boasts Terrence Currier as Theodore Whitman, Christian Delcroix as Young Buddy, Rosalind Elias as Heidi Schiller, Colleen Fitzpatrick as Dee Dee West, Lora Lee Gayer as Young Sally, Michael Hayes as Roscoe, Florence Lacey as Sandra Crane, Linda Lavin as Hattie Walker, Régine as Solange LaFitte, David Sabin as Dimitri Weismann, Kirsten Scott as Young Phyllis, Frederick Strother as Max Deems, Nick Verina as Young Ben, Susan Watson as Emily Whitman and Terri White as Stella Deems.

Rounding out the ensemble are Lawrence Alexander, Brandon Bieber, John Carroll, Sara Edwards, Leslie Flesner (Young Dee Dee), Jenifer Foote (Young Hattie), Leah Horowitz (Young Heidi), Suzanne Hylenski (Young Solange), Danielle Jordan, Joe Kolinski, Amanda Larsen, Brittany Marcin, Edrie Means, Erin Moore (Young Stella), Pamela Otterson (Young Carlotta), Clifton Samuels, Kiira Schmidt (Young Sandra), Brian Shepard, Sam Strasfeld, Amos Wolff and Ashley Yeater.

Follies will continue through June 19 in the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.

Jan Maxwell talks about her Follies experience in Playbill.com's May 6 Diva Talk column.

 

Jan Maxwell
photo by Joan Marcus

Signature Theatre artistic director Eric Schaeffer directs the classic musical with choreography by Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow).

James Moore serves as music director and conducts the 28-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

The production also features scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Kai Harada. The musical utilizes Jonathan Tunick's original orchestrations.

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.

Follies, with songs by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman, was originally directed by Harold Prince on Broadway in 1971. Since then, it has received a legendary star-filled concert at Lincoln Center in 1985, a Roundabout revival on Broadway directed by Matthew Warchus in 2001, a City Center Encores! production in 2007 and numerous regional mountings, including a Paper Mill Playhouse engagement that featured Donna McKechnie and the late Ann Miller.

Among the show's many song titles 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," "Bolero d'Amour," "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."

Tickets starting at $45 are available at the Kennedy Center box office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.