Bernadette Peters Bids Adieu to FOLLIES Post Broadway; Will Not Star in LA Run
As BroadwayWorld reported on December 6, The Kennedy Center’s critically acclaimed Broadway production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award®-winning musical Follies will transfer to the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles for six weeks only, May 3 through June 9, 2012. The opening is scheduled for May 9. The current Broadway run at the Marquis Theatre will play through January 22, 2012, as scheduled.
Casting for the Los Angeles engagement of the production has not yet been announced, and while it is presumed that at least some of the cast will be heading west, one star who will not make the trip is Bernadette Peters, who plays Sally Durant. A spokesperson for Peters tells BroadwayWorld that the star has concert obligations she must fulfill next spring, which will prevent her from continuing with the production. Peters will, of course, finish out the Broadway run through January 22.
With book by James Goldman and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Follies” is directed by Eric Schaeffer with choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by James Moore.
The production features scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Kai Harada and the original orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick.
“We are tremendously proud to bring the Kennedy Center’s lush Broadway production of ‘Follies’ to the Ahmanson,” said Michael Ritchie, CTG Artistic Director. “It is a coup for CTG to get it and a gift for Los Angeles audiences to receive it.
“With changes in the Ahmanson schedule, both the postponement of ‘Funny Girl’ and the re-scheduling of ‘Fela!’ to a December – January presentation, the timing was perfect for us to present this acclaimed production in the spring.
“We are currently in discussions to bring members of the Broadway cast to L.A. and will confirm the casting as soon as negotiations are completed.”
Tickets for “Follies” for the Ahmanson Theatre engagement will go on sale in January. Any CTG patron who is currently holding tickets for “Funny Girl” will be re-issued new tickets for “Follies.” For further information, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Follies or call (213) 972-4400.
When former members of the “Weismann Follies” reunite on the eve of their theatre's demolition, two couples remember their past and face the harsher realities of the present. Reminiscing about their younger selves and the years gone by, the crumbling theatre brings back memories for both couples of good times and bad. Containing such well-known songs as “Broadway Baby,” “I’m Still Here,” “Too Many Mornings,” “Could I Leave You?” and “Losing My Mind,” “Follies” echoes the songs, exuberance and romance of the vaudeville days between the two World Wars.
Originally produced on Broadway by Harold Prince with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, “Follies” opened on April 4, 1971, and starred Dorothy Collins, John McMartin, Gene Nelson and Alexis Smith. It ran for 522 performances in the Winter Garden Theatre and received seven Tony Awards®, including Best Original Score. The current Broadway run at the Marquis Theatre opened to critical acclaim September 12 after 38 preview performances. Prior to its Broadway run, the revival production played a highly successful six-week run in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater from May 7 to June 19, 2011.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, David M. Rubenstein, chairman, Michael M. Kaiser, president, is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. It is the nation’s busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. Now in its 40th season, the Center presents performances of music, dance and theatre; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. The Center has produced and co-produced “Annie” and the American premiere of “Les Misérables.” The Center also produced the “Sondheim Celebration” (six Stephen Sondheim musicals) in 2002, and “August Wilson’s 20th Century” (the playwright’s complete ten-play cycle) in 2008. In 2009, the Kennedy Center production of “Ragtime” featuring direction by Marcia Milgrom Dodge transferred to Broadway. Last year, the Kennedy Center mounted Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” starring Tyne Daly, who reprised the role at Manhattan Theatre Club under the direction of Stephen Wadsworth, who also directed the Kennedy Center production. “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.
Tickets for “Follies” on Broadway are available through www.Ticketmaster.com, by calling (877) 250-2929, and in person at the Marquis Theatre box office. The New 2011 Broadway Cast Recording for “Follies” is now available on PS Classics. For more information on the Broadway production, visit www.folliesbroadway.com.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy