AUDIO: FOLLIES' Danny Burnstein Visits NPR
Two-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein is currently starring in the acclaimed Broadway revival of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece FOLLIES. Today PS Classics released the new two-disc Broadway cast album of the hit production. In anticipation of the album's release, Burstein visited NPR's "Fresh Air" to talk with host Terry Gross about playing Buddy Plummer in the iconic musical. Click below to listen to the full interview!
Before he was cast in the Broadway revival of Follies, actor Danny Burstein had never seen Stephen Sondheim's famous musical, which first hit the Broadway stage in 1971. And he didn't know much about the show, except that everyone in the theater world seemingly had an opinion about it.
"Everyone thought it should be this way, or everybody thought it should be that way," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And it was good, because I had my own opportunity to form my own opinion about it without knowing anything about it beforehand."
The two-time Tony nominee is now playing salesman Buddy Plummer, a down-on-his-luck kind of guy who's torn between having an affair with his mistress, Margie, and staying in a loveless marriage with his wife, a former Follies chorus girl played by Bernadette Peters. Buddy openly fantasizes about what life could be like, if only he had made different decisions and married a different girl - maybe Margie or even someone else entirely.
Though some runs of Follies have portrayed Buddy as a loser, Burstein says he didn't want to play him that way.
"I don't like whiners - characters who whine on stage - and in reading the script, that's what it seemed like to me, like the character was one sad sack whiner," he says. "And I thought, 'No, he really wants something. He wants the love of his wife, and so he's fighting for that.' So lines that could be read in a very sad way instead could be read in a very positive way."