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Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES

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SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 01:44pm
Question re: Dorothy Collins and Follies: That was her 1st Broadway show. Was she a newcomer/a "no-name" to the production even though she was one of the leads?
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ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 01:52pm
She was known on television for the show Your Hit Parade.

She also released several albums and singles, some had Billboard chart success.
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 02:14pm
Dorothy Collins did lots and lots of summer tours and dinner theater productions. I remember seeing her in DO I HEAR A WALTZ? and HELLO, DOLLY! in various theaters.

"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Updated On: 1/28/12 at 02:14 PM
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 02:31pm
I'd never heard of Collins in 1971 (I was 17), but she and the rest of the HIT PARADE cast were "stars" to my parents.

If I remember correctly, the p.r. at the time sometimes focused on the meeting between the Hollywood vets (including Collins, Smith, Nelson and DeCarlo) and the stage actors such as McMartin and McCarty. As with all such "angles", it was an oversimplification.
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justoldbill
Broadway Star
joined:10/17/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 03:48pm
She was also known for her work on CANDID CAMERA. She was not unknown to Hal Prince; he considered her for SHE LOVES ME before casting Barbara Cook. I think FOLLIES was primarily for her. I saw her in summer stock in the mid-60's in MY FAIR LADY.
Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 04:16pm
I always felt that Dorothy Collins had a bit of a speech impediment. I can't exactly describe it, but I can hear it when she sings "Losing My Mind". This may be why she didn't do all that many recordings.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 04:25pm
I've never noticed that, Dolly. I'll have to listen for it.

As I've written in some of the FOLLIES threads, I have come to appreciate Collins and her voice more and more over the years. Much as I love Barbara Cook and Vikki Carr, at this point Collins is my favorite Sally.
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brettarnett
Stand-by
joined:5/2/09
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 04:31pm
It wasn't until I listened to other women in the role of Sally that I truly appreciated Collins' voice.

I know that Alexis got most of the attention during the run (well it seems that way now: Time cover, Tony Award, didn't Alexis get the final bow as well?) But how was Dorothy in the role? Did she act it well? Did the audience respond to, or praise her performance? I haven't heard much about her in the production, mainly just Alexos.
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 04:48pm
brett, Collins was short and swaddled in that drab pink dress for most of the evening. (I do recall her looking amazing when made up a la Jean Harlow for "Losing My Mind.") And she got to stand next to the statuesque Alexis Smith decked out all in red, while Smith, of course, got all the funny/sarcastic lines. And even when Collins finally "got the guy", she didn't: Ben made out with Young Sally while Collins stood alone.

And yet I recall Collins being very moving and entirely believable as Sally descended into madness.

Given all the magic going on around her, the fact that I remember Collins at all probably means she was brilliant. Seriously.

(ETA I didn't mean to ignore your question about the order of the curtain call. I suspect Smith came after Collins: Smith had the flashier role and she was a movie star, not "just" a TV star. It would have been a let down if Smith had bowed first.

But I honestly don't remember.)
Updated On: 1/28/12 at 04:48 PM
sskeats2
Stand-by
joined:10/21/09
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 04:53pm
Collins had considerable attention in the run. Often appearing with ALexis on television. Akexis was a dazzling Phyllis.

Collins is still my favorite Sally. Totally believable with a heartbreaking voice. I didn't believe Bernadette for a moment.

sassylash3s
Chorus Member
joined:7/5/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:01pm
I seem to remember reading in EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE, that (at least during the tryouts and previews) that nobody could predict whether Alexis or Dorothy would get the bigger hand at the end of each performance, and that Dorothy seemed to receive the most unanimous praise as audiences left the theater. Seems like she was quite well-received.

Also, for what it's worth, I don't hear anything resembling a speech impediment in "Losing My Mind." Her Canadian accent is quite apparent every time she sings "about", but I'm assuming that's not what you're referring to.
temms
Broadway Star
joined:7/21/04
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:05pm
Here she is duetting with Bing Crosby on a Christmas version of "Glow Worm" with new lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Dorothy Collins & Bing Crosby
temms
Broadway Star
joined:7/21/04
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:07pm
And duetting with herself on "Hey There" from PAJAMA GAME on YOUR HIT PARADE:
Dorothy Collins -
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:20pm
Was she a newcomer/a "no-name" to the production even though she was one of the leads?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Did you mean HOW did she become a lead even though she was a newcomer? As others have noted, it was simply her Broadway debut. It's not like she had no career of performing beforehand.

I think this is my favorite song of hers from Your Hit Parade.
Tweedlee Dee
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:31pm
Thank you very much, temms! I don't know why I didn't think to look for Collins' HIT PARADE clips before now, but I didn't. I'll get the hang of these internets yet!

We should probably explain to the kids (i.e., anyone 60 and younger) that the premise of YOUR HIT PARADE was that the top ten (or so) songs from the Billboard charts were performed every week. Since big hits spent weeks, even months, on the charts, that meant the show had to find a new way to perform the same song week after week.

That is why some of the linked numbers may seem peculiar. (For example, Collins' odd interior monologue on "Hey, There". There's no telling how many times the show had featured that song.)
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:31pm
She was a TV star.

You know, like Darren Criss.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:32pm
They even have the same initials!
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:33pm
I think you're onto something, Phyl!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:36pm
Another one of my favorites. My friend Chris and I used to say it was like watching Young Sally pine for Ben!

(updated the link because the previous one gets wonky in the middle)
Unchained Melody
Updated On: 1/28/12 at 05:36 PM
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:37pm
I think this is my favorite song of hers from Your Hit Parade.

Re "Tweeedle Dee":

For a decade that prided itself on its own dullness, there was some seriously trippy $hit on TV!
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:40pm
Trying to describe what I perceive as Dorothy's impediment: It seems as though her tongue is rolled or perhaps uncontrolled in the back of her mouth.

I realize this sounds stupid, but try to imagine what this would do to the musical sounds a singer is making.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:41pm
To me, it always seemed like she had a slight overbite.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:44pm
For the record, I absolutely adore her.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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justoldbill
Broadway Star
joined:10/17/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:50pm
Dorothy Collins had something of an overbite, which may explain her style of vocalizing- and she made many recordings. No doubt, she was the soul of FOLLIES (I saw it four times), and a wonderfully warm woman. In the summer of 1976, she did an evening of cabaret at a club in the West 70's and I happened to be in town. She spent quite a while at our table afterwards, going over FOLLIES memories. She was amazed that I hsd gotten John McMartin's autograph in my program (he always left right after curtain). When I told her I had followed him to the bar at Sardi's to get him sign it, she had a major giggle-fit. Another friend of mine attended high school with one of her daughters. He has warm memories of her at school events, etc., although there she was basically just another mom. A wonderful, wonderful woman.
Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 05:58pm
If I remember correctly, her daughter briefly posted on this board a few years ago after a thread about Dorothy Collins popped up. She had nothing but lovely memories of her mother. By all accounts, she was just a delightful woman.
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Dorothy Collins before FOLLIES
Posted: 1/28/12 at 06:30pm
If you watch the 90-minute David Frost show featuring the cast of the original Follies plus Hal and Steve, you'll see how she was the heart and soul of the show many thought was heartless and soulless.

Her appreciation for the writing and staging--and the talents of the other stars like Alexis and Yvonne--is so sweet, more like a gushing fan than a co-star.

Between Your Hit Parade and Candid Camera and the summer stock tours she did, she was very well known to middle-aged theatergoers in 1971. But she wasknown as a television star, not a movie star, like Alexis, Yvonne and Gene, so she seems like a nobody in 2012.

I love watching her shine in the Hit Parade clips. The songs are sometimes good/sometimes awful, and the makeshift sets and costumes are sometimes pathetically silly, but she rises above them and gets at the heart of the song.
yr pal,
joey




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