More "Beautiful Girls": Tony-Nominated Follies Opens in Los Angeles May 9
By Andrew Gans
Following acclaimed openings in Washington and New York, the Kennedy Center's Broadway production of the award-winning musical Follies, which was recently nominated for eight Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, officially opens its limited engagement at Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre May 9 at 8 PM following previews that began May 3. Performances will continue through June 9.
Tony winner Victoria Clark, who played Sally Durant Plummer in the City Center Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies, reprises that role for West Coast audiences. Clark is playing the role created by two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters for the Kennedy Center and Broadway engagements; as previously reported, Peters was unable to transfer with the musical in order to fulfill her concert engagements, which she had previously postponed in order to play the Broadway run of Follies.
Los Angeles audiences, however, do get to see the performances of Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone and Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion. Maxwell, Burstein and Raines all received 2012 Tony nominations for their performances.
Also returning to their roles are Christian Delcroix as Young Buddy, Colleen Fitzpatrick as Dee Dee West, Lora Lee Gayer as Young Sally, Michael Hayes as Roscoe, Leah Horowitz as Young Heidi, 2012 Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell as Hattie Walker, Florence Lacey as Sandra Crane, Tony Award nominee Mary Beth Peil as Solange LaFitte, David Sabin as Dimitri Weismann, Kirsten Scott as Young Phyllis, Frederick Strother as Max Deems, Nick Verina as Young Ben, Tony Award nominee Susan Watson as Emily Whitman, and Terri White as Stella Deems.
They are joined by Grammy Award winner Carol Neblett as Heidi Schiller and Tony Award winner Sammy Williams as Theodore Whitman.
Rounding out the ensemble, the majority of whom are returning, are John Carroll, Mathew deGuzman, Sara Edwards, Nathaniel Flatt, Leslie Donna Flesner, Jenifer Foote, Danielle Jordan, Amanda Kloots-Larsen, Joseph Kolinski, Joe Komara, Brittany Marcin, Erin N. Moore, Jessica Pariseau, Andrew Pirozzi, Pamela Otterson, Angel Reda, Clifton Samuels, Jessica Sheridan, Becky Elizabeth Stout and Sam Strasfeld.
Follies, which won the 1971 Tony Award for Best Score, has a book by Goldman and music and lyrics by Sondheim.
The Kennedy Center revival first appeared at the Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC, May 7-June 19, 2011. It opened at the Marquis on Sept. 12, 2011; the final Broadway performance was Jan. 22.
Eric Schaeffer directs and Warren Carlyle choreographs. James Moore serves as music director and conducts the 28-piece orchestra. Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations are being employed for the production.
Follies was originally co-directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett on Broadway in 1971. Since then, it has received a legendary star-filled concert at Lincoln Center in 1985 (preserved on recording), a Roundabout revival on Broadway directed by Matthew Warchus in 2001 (not recorded), a City Center Encores! production in 2007 (not recorded) and numerous regional mountings, including a Paper Mill Playhouse engagement that featured Donna McKechnie and the late Ann Miller (preserved on a cast album). The original cast recording and a London cast recording that includes songs written for that run are also on the market.
PS Classics, the label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American popular song, released the new two-disc set Broadway cast album of Follies Nov. 29, 2011. To purchase the recording at PlaybillStore.com, click here.
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.
Among the show's songs 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," "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."
For ticket information visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Follies or call (213) 972-4400.
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