September 12, 2011
January 22, 2011
On the soon-to-be demolished stage of the crumbling Weismann Theatre, a reunion is being held to honor the beautiful showgirls who starred in the Weissman Follies. As two couples remember their past and face the harsh realities of the present, the shadows of their younger selves remind them of the complicated steps they've taken, both on the stage and in real life.
The Ziegfeld Follies revues, which were a popular form of entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. They straddled the line between vaudeville and the more traditional Broadway musicals to come, and were famous for their beautiful chorus girls in fabulously over-the-top costumes.
Follies premiered on Broadway in 1971, and won seven Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Actress in a Musical for Alexis Smith. A 2001 revival starred Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Treat Williams and Gregory Harrison. The current revival began life at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in the summer of 2011 before transferring to Broadway, and is now playing in Los Angeles.
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; book by James Goldman
Hal Luftig, Scott Sanders Productions, Roy Furman, Yasuhiro Kawana, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Gutterman Fuld Chernoff/Pittsburgh CLO, Thousand Stars Productions, Adam Blanshay, Adam Zotovich, Robert Ahrens, Stephanie P. McClelland, Carole L. Haber, Richardo Hornos, Carol Fineman, Brian Smith, Warren & Jâlé Trepp
—Broadway.com Audience Choice Award nomination for Favorite Musical Revival
—Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
—Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
—Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Revival of a Musical
In an interview with the Paris Review, composer Sondheim explained that Follies was first written as a murder mystery of sorts. “It was about four people—two couples—who had been emotionally involved with each other a long time ago and who thought their lives had been damaged because of it,” he said. “The notion was that one of them was going to murder one of the others, and the suspense, so to speak, was who’s going to kill whom.”