Three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz, whose Broadway credits include Man of La Mancha, The Capeman, Carousel, and Seussical, will play Sally Durant Plummer in San Francisco Playhouse's summer production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies.
Helmed by Artistic Director Bill English, performances are scheduled for June 30-September 10 with an official opening July 6. The production will also have choreography by Nicole Helfer and music direction by Dave Dobrusky.
Diaz will be joined by Samantha Rose Cárdenas as Young Sally, Maureen McVerry as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Danielle Cheiken as Young Phyllis, Ryan Drummond as Buddy Plummer, Chachi Delgado as Young Buddy, Chris Vettel as Benjamin Stone, Cameron La Brie as Young Benjamin, Cindy Goldfield as Carlotta Campion, Lucinda Hitchcock Cone as Hattie Walker, Jill Slyter as Solange LaFitte, Caroline Louise Altman as Stella Deems, Louis Parnell as Dimitri Weismann, Frederick Winthrop as Roscoe, Eiko Yamamoto as Emily Whitman, and Rene Collins as Theodore Whitman with Emily Corbo, Anthony Maglio, Catrina Manahan, and Anne Warque in the ensemble.
Originally slated for the Playhouse’s 2019-2020 season but postponed due to the pandemic, the upcoming production marks Follies' first fully staged professional production in San Francisco.
Follies is set in a dilapidated theatre about to be torn down and features a score by Sondheim and a book by Goldman. The musical premiered at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre in April 1971 with a score that boasts such tunes as "Beautiful Girls," "Broadway Baby," "In Buddy's Eyes," "I'm Still Here," "Could I Leave You?," "Losing My Mind," and "Who's That Woman?" Among the original cast were Dick Latessa, Alexis Smith, Yvonne De Carlo, John McMartin, Gene Nelson, and Dorothy Collins. The musical won seven Tony Awards in 1972.
“We are thrilled and amazed to be presenting the professional San Francisco premiere of this Sondheim classic,” says English. “More than a dazzling collection of tributes to musical styles from the first half of the 20th century, Follies is a meditation on the subject of regret, urging us to either refuse to regret or to make sure we have nothing in life to regret. It is also a profoundly feminist piece, that speaks with even greater power now than it did in 1971. We intend our Follies to capitalize on our intimate space to really delve into the characters’ dilemmas while at the same time giving space to theatrical wizardry!”