FOLLIES Reviews

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LimelightMike
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FOLLIES Reviews#1
Posted: 9/12/11 at 12:23am
Today is Monday, September 12, marking the official opening night performance of the Kennedy Center's critically acclaimed production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical Follies, at the Marquis Theatre. Preview performances began August 7.

The cast of 41 is led by Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, and Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone Signature Theatre artistic director Eric Schaeffer directs this incarnation with choreography by Warren Carlyle. James Moore serves as music director and conducts a 28-piece orchestra.

Best wishes to all involved!


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CarlosAlberto
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FOLLIES Reviews #2
Posted: 9/12/11 at 6:24am
Can't wait to read the reviews

...and the reactions!
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best12bars
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FOLLIES Reviews #2
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:35am
I have a feeling this is going to be the most volatile, unhinged thread in years.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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FOLLIES Reviews #3
Posted: 9/12/11 at 9:11am
FOLLIES Reviews

I'm getting a big bowl ready for this thread.

"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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chewy5000
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FOLLIES Reviews #4
Posted: 9/12/11 at 9:19am
FOLLIES Reviews

IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
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FOLLIES Reviews #5
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:11am
While you're waiting, here's Frank Rich's review in the Harvard Crimson from February 26, 1971:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1971/2/26/theatre-the-last-musical-pthese-are/
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WithoutATrace
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FOLLIES Reviews #6
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:15am
I'll be there tonight. Praying for positive reviews! Break a leg to this incredible cast and crew.
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AC126748
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FOLLIES Reviews #7
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:17am
How many times have you seen FOLLIES now, WAT? 500? You should donate your ticket to a starving orphan who will never get a chance to see this production. SHAME.










FOLLIES Reviews
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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best12bars
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FOLLIES Reviews #8
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:21am
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
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FOLLIES Reviews #9
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:27am
PJ and Best12; fascinating reads. Thank you so much!

Wishing "Follies" the best! What a joy to have this piece of theatre gracing the Great White Way again!
I'll take the wind and soar.
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SondheimFan5
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FOLLIES Reviews #10
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:30am
* FINGERS CROSSED FOR POSITIVE REVIEWS *

(or at least more positive than DC)
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SondheimFan5
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FOLLIES Reviews #11
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:31am
and I WOULD be there tonight, but I had a previous engagement :/
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FOLLIES Reviews #12
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:35am
Hahaha, AC126748. I had a feeling someone would ask that. Tonight will be number seven for me (and I think this will be it for a while).
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FOLLIES Reviews #13
Posted: 9/12/11 at 11:41am
Clive Barnes's review in the New York Times wasn't as positive as Frank Rich's had been. Barnes's review started out

The musical "Follies," which opened last night at the Winter Garden, is the kind of musical that should have its original cast album out on 78's. It carries nostalgia to where sentiment finally engulfs it in its sickly maw....

Ouch. Sickly maw?

And then there was Walter Kerr's review in the New York Times, which broke my 15-year-old Sondheim-loving heart (so imagine what it must have done to those involved). The review was headlined Yes, Yes, Alexis! No, No, 'Follies'! and it started out like this:

FOLLIES" is intermissionless and exhausting, an extravaganza that becomes tedious for two simple reasons: Its extravagances have nothing to do with its pebble of a plot: and the plot, which could be wrapped up in approximately two songs, dawdles through 22 before it declares itself done....

Martin Gottfried set a brighter tone in the following Sunday's NY Times Arts and Leisure section, with a review headlined Flipping over Follies that started out:

NEITHER Clive Barnes nor Walter Kerr liked "Follies" and they are this newspaper's drama critics. I am not about to say that they were "wrong," and right and wrong, rave and pan are the least of theater criticism anyway. I do believe, though, that every artwork is either good or it isn't, and I am convinced that "Follies" is monumental theater.
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FOLLIES Reviews #14
Posted: 9/12/11 at 4:28pm
I'm disappointed.

I've only seen what has been shown on Broadwayworld TV and, of course, Youtube - so my opinion of this production is clearly limited...but...

Paige: as a Fan, I really want her to do well in this, but she overacts and hams it up. 'I'm Still Here' comes across as verging on amateurish.

Peters: to me, more often than not, she sounds as though she has a cold - but what I've seen and heard this time round, she's now got the flu.

From what I've seen from the rest of the cast - good but not great. No real gravitas or defining performance.

Again, I haven't seen the show and I know you need to see 'the whole' but I don't think this is the definitive production many had hoped for - particularly with the names associated with it.

As for the cast recording, and I think I own most releases, I think I'll pass.

I was really looking forward to this Follies, I was hoping it would be the 'one' but for me it's just not there.

Matt

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FOLLIES Reviews #15
Posted: 9/12/11 at 4:48pm
"but I don't think this is the definitive production many had hoped for - particularly with the names associated with it."

I think most have resigned themselves to the fact that the Prince production will likely always be the definitive production. I would imagine that most were looking for in this revival was a very good Follies. IMO, this production delivers that and more: this is a wonderful (if not perfect) revival of a s Sondheim masterpiece.
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miss pennywise
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FOLLIES Reviews #16
Posted: 9/12/11 at 4:56pm
I've seen this production 5 times, and, obviously, I adore it.

I do not expect the critics to be kind, for the most part, but I can't imagine an out-and-out pan by anyone. There seems to be something, (at least one thing), for every theatre-goer to admire...at least that's what I've surmised from what I've read. (Then again, at the first preview in DC, at least 50 people walked out at intermission!)

Anyway...I can't wait to see it again. I hope the cast and crew have a lot of fun tonight...especially all those making their Broadway debuts!
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FOLLIES Reviews #17
Posted: 9/12/11 at 5:33pm
Thanks for the reviews of the original production.

Walter Kerr and Clive Barnes: two astute critics, sans agendas. Too bad we lack their like today.

Oh, well. Here's wishing the cast well tonight.
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FOLLIES Reviews #19
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:18pm
Jan Maxwell, who plays the feisty Phyllis, is the clear star of the proceedings

Uh-oh
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FOLLIES Reviews #20
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:22pm
Sondheim should write a sequel called "PHYLLIS!"
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FOLLIES Reviews #21
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:24pm
I know the definition of "omnivorous" but don't get the reviewer's meaning in using it to describe BP's version of "Losing My Mind". Please enlighten me, someone.
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FOLLIES Reviews #22
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:28pm
Very insightful review from Chicago Tribune. Loved this:

"And Schaeffer now has the joyous Jayne Houdyshell — an actress who is ideal for Hattie precisely because her approach to introspection is so different from her peers — to play with “Broadway Baby” like it's an Everlasting Gobstopper with years of flavor."
"Broadway...I'll lick you yet!"
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FOLLIES Reviews #23
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:37pm
That's a stupid review--overly wordy and annoyingly contradictory.

"...an era when it feels like some old star names are fighting to keep their global billing, the macro themes of a show that opened in a very different America are also very much aflame..."

Someone get some water. His macro themes are aflame.

"...the quotidian difficulty of holding it together..."

Hehehe...he said "titty-an"!

"Raines and Burstein are free to concentrate on their characters' trajectories. But this take-away also seems to flow from where the directorial focus has landed."

Uh-oh. Danny Burstein's character's trajectory is flowing away from his take-away. Or vice versa. (Or is that good?)

And my fave:

...you do see the vulnerable Phoenix hausfrau, and the lost youngster who came before, as clear as twin lonely cactus in an ever-arid desert.

TWIN LONELY CACTUS IN A--?!?!?

Never mind, but I think he meant "cacti."

You're never sure where the past separates from the present or even when the actual event starts and ends. Which is, of course, one of life's true follies.

So true. So very true.

NEXT REVIEW!
Updated On: 9/12/11 at 08:37 PM
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FOLLIES Reviews #24
Posted: 9/12/11 at 8:40pm
the one Broadway theater that some aficionados would love to see torn down

I know a lot of people don't like the Marquis Theatre, but I do not think anyone wants it torn down...
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "