Elaine Paige Will Join Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell and More in Broadway's Follies

By Andrew Gans
July 5, 2011

Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige, who played Carlotta Campion in the Kennedy Center's critically acclaimed production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning Follies, will re-create her performance for Broadway audiences when previews begin at the Marquis Theatre Aug. 7. Opening night is Sept. 12.



The starry Kennedy Center production, which will boast a 41-person cast and a 28-piece orchestra, will be headed by the previously reported 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 and three-time Emmy nominee Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Eric Schaeffer will again direct with choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by James Moore.

Tickets are now available by visiting Ticketmaster.com.

Elaine Paige was brought to the public's attention when she created the role of Eva Peron in the original London production of Evita. She then created the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats and followed with a recording hit: "I Know Him So Well," with Barbara Dickson, from the concept album of Chess. Paige later starred in the West End mounting of Chess as well as London productions of Anything Goes, The King and I, Piaf and Sunset Boulevard. She repeated her work as Norma Desmond for New York audiences, and in 2004 she performed the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the New York City Opera (and snagged a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work). She has recorded 16 solo albums and six cast albums. In 1995 Paige received the Order of the British Empire for services to Musical Theatre. Paige most recently starred in the title role of the London production of The Drowsy Chaperone and currently hosts a weekly radio program for the BBC.

Paige is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.

The limited engagement of Follies will be 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).

*

The Kennedy Center production, which ended its run June 19, also boasted 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 were 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.

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

 

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

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

The production also featured 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. Read Playbill.com's earlier feature coverage of the work of costume designer Gregg Barnes.

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."