Two-Disc Follies Revival Recording Is Big Seller

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Kenneth Jones
28 Nov 2011

Cover art for <i>Follies</i>
Cover art for Follies

Although the PS Classics recording of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies does not arrive in stores until Nov. 29, the two-disc set is already a big seller for the record label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American popular song.

As previously reported, the recording — which has been available for pre-sale via the company's website — is produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, who has overseen more than a dozen Sondheim cast recordings; his label was Grammy-nominated for Sondheim on Sondheim and A Little Night Music in 2010.

Krasker told Playbill.com Nov. 28, "We've never had the kind of reaction that we've had for Follies. Not only has it already outsold every other album at our website, but the steady stream of emails from customers has been amazing. As a huge Follies fan, I really wanted to do an expansive album that gave a real feel for the show itself. It was the kind of Follies album I'd always dreamed of hearing; it's been incredible to hear from so many other people who shared that dream." The number of units sold will be available beginning Dec. 2. For more information visit psclassics.com.

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 now at Broadway's Marquis Theatre first appeared at the Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC, May 7-June 19. It opened at the Marquis on Sept. 12.



Eric Schaeffer directs (and Warren Carlyle choreographs) a cast that includes two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, Ron Raines as Ben Stone, Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion, Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, and more.

James Moore serves as music director and conducts the 28-piece orchestra. Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations are being employed for the production. The original cast album severely truncated the ambitious score.

The track listing for the two-disc set follows:
Disc One:
Prologue
Overture
"Welcome to our first - and last - reunion..."
Beautiful Girls
"You came; you’re really here..."
Don’t Look at Me
"I never get to talk..."
Waiting for the Girls Upstairs
Rain on the Roof
Ah, Paris!
Broadway Baby
The Road You Didn't Take
"Bargains, Buddy..."
In Buddy's Eyes
"Let's dish. Tell me everything..."
Who's That Woman?

Disc Two:
"I had a Follies number once..."
I'm Still Here
Too Many Mornings
The Right Girl
"Men are so sweet..."
One More Kiss
"According to statistics..."
Could I Leave You?
"You'll make a good wife, Phyl..."
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 Lucy and Jessie
Live, Laugh, Love
Chaos
End of Show

The discs feature a 52-page full-color booklet with essay, synopsis, lyrics, production photos and a brief note from producer Krasker.

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 has preserved many Sondheim productions including Sondheim on Sondheim, The Frogs, Road Show and the most recent revivals of A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Pacific Overtures and Assassins.

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."

The company also includes Don Correia as Theodore Whitman, Christian Delcroix as Young Buddy, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Rosalind Elias as Heidi Schiller, Colleen Fitzpatrick as Dee Dee West, Lora Lee Gayer as Young Sally, Michael Hayes as Roscoe, Leah Horowitz as Young Heidi, 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.

Follies is 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); Nederlander Presentations, Inc.; Adrienne Arsht; HRH Foundation, Sponsor; Allan Williams, Executive Producer.

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Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and a six-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music and Sondheim on Sondheim), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song through its award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Kate Baldwin, Jessica Molaskey and Christine Andreas (among others); and recordings drawn from rare sound archives, including "Sondheim Sings." Summer releases include studio cast albums of the Gershwins' 1930 Strike Up the Band, the long-lost Vernon Duke/Ogden Nash musical Sweet Bye and Bye, plus the live concert album of She Loves Him, Tony nominee Baldwin's tribute to songwriter Sheldon Harnick. 

PS Classics recently released the Joshua Schmidt-Jan Tranen score to A Minister's Wife, a new musical based on Bernard Shaw's Candida. Visit the label's website, www.psclassics.com.