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Stephen Sondheim's Follies in Concert (1986)

Andre Gregory , Arthur Rubin , Michael Houldey  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Price: $29.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Andre Gregory, Arthur Rubin, Barbara Cook, George Hearn, Jim Walton
  • Directors: Michael Houldey
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KH3H
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stephen Sondheim's Follies in Concert" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The incomparable Stephen Sondheim brought his sensational Follies to the stage in 1971 where it was hailed as "monumental theater" by The New York Times. Fourteen years later, the magic was recreated by an unparalleled gathering of stage and screen luminaries performing with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center for a wildly enthusiastic audience. This one-night-only performance became a legendary event in Broadway history--Follies in Concert! The evolution of this unique, historic event is exclusively captured in this film, from the first rehearsal--just four days before the show--to the last-second butterflies just before the curtain rose. This is a rare treasure for all fans of musical theater. Includes the memorable songs "Losing My Mind" and "I'm Still Here" and an all-star cast: Carol Burnett, Liz Callaway, Betty Comden, Barbara Cook, Adolph Green, George Hearn, Howard McGillin, Liliane Montevecchi, Phyllis Newman, Mandy Patinkin, Lee Remick, and Elaine Stritch. 90 minutes.

Additional Features

The DVD release of Follies in Concert contains the original 90-minute documentary with no additional footage, which is a disappointment to fans longing to see the parts of the concert that were never released on video. Sound quality is fairly good, though the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo provides a somewhat narrow soundstage. The picture retains much of the graininess of the original film, most notably the portions shot in low lighting conditions. Most welcome will be the DVD's 23 chapters, which allow the viewer to skip the concert preparation and go straight to the songs, all of which are individually tracked (even the 45-second "Rain on the Roof"). --David Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Short a Showing of a Terrific Concert July 12, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a documentary of a 1985 concert performance from Lincoln Center of Stephen Sondheim's 1971 "Follies." A really great cast of Broadway greats was brought together for this concert that was basically put together is a few days. Although the backstage elements of the show are great (e.g., showing actors working through dance numbers, flubbing lyrics, Sondheim talking with the actors), the real interest of the show is in the performaces themselves that make up about half of the 90 minute documentary. The unfortunate thing about the documentary is that we only see about half the concert, mostly in the form of excerpts. It really would have been much better to see a COMPLETE version of the concert. One really wonders why this wasn't filmed and made available in some format. There is, however, a 2-CD album of the whole concert to fill in the gaps.
This concern aside, the concert is a great chance to see the likes of Barbara Cook, Lee Remick, George Hearn, Carol Burnett, Elaine Stritch, and Adolph Green and Betty Comden singing and within the frame of a concert performance) acting their way through one of the great musicals of our age.
This DVD is a definite buy!
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous! August 23, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is not "Follies in Concert," it is the reader's digest version. Many numbers have been truncated and many omitted, most notably "Waiting for the Boys Upstairs" and "The Road I Didn't Take." While the concert itself ran over 130 minutes, the DVD is made from a 90 minute video tape. Include the fact that they added about 30 minutes of rehearsal interviews, and the concert is basically cut in half. In addition, the DVD is video tape quality and the sound is unstable. All in all, a very disappointing recording for Sondheim lovers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Should Get 5 Stars, But...! August 25, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Thank God that there is a full recording of this evening available on CD, because this video only shows about 45 minutes of the actual concert. Granted, they are 45 minutes that are not to be missed with this brilliant cast and this amazing show from Stephen Sondheim. This is truly a Broadway event. The documentary, which makes up most of the running time of the video is a lot of fun, but cutting the actual concert down to bare bones is a sin. We who adored Sondheim should appeal to the producers and beg that this magical night be released on video in its entirety.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follies Documentary May 13, 2002
It has been noted several times that this DVD is not a recording of the famous concert at Lincoln Center, but a documentary of that concert including rehearsals and some of the concert. The concert was used as the platform to make the first full recording of this incredible score. Many may not realise that in order to preserve the show on 1 LP, the original Broadway cast recording had substantial cuts made while it was being recorded. The OBC cd's released later include only one cut song from that original cast recording. The OBC recording of Follies is a crime to be sure.
But back to the DVD. This is an interesting behind the scenes look at the mad house it took to present a full stage concert of Follies in about a week. It is interesting to watch Thomas Z. Shepherd at work here as the record producer. (An interesting comparison would be to buy the documentary of the recording of Company to see a younger Sheperd at work) There are scenes in the rehearsal halls, the terror of opening night and wonderful scenes on stage.
If you are a theater lover, this DVD is a wonderful documentary of how a show like this is put together. And there are wonderful clips of Carol Burnett singing "I'm Still Here" and Elaine Stritch singing "Broadway Baby". And who can ever resist Barbara Cook?
The packaging may be confusing for die hard theater fans. The DVD cover uses the famous David Byrd logo from the original Broadway cast and not the photograph cover from the recording. But dont let that fool you, this documentary is worthy of any serious theater lovers collection.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hats off, here they come those beautiful girls! July 14, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is by far my favorite musical, not the concert but the actual musical from the 70's. When i saw Alexis Smith the first time i fell deeply in love. Of course i was only 24 at the time.Even though this is just the concert version minus the terrible cutting and editing it's better than nothing at all. This cast was also wonderful with it's vintage and well polished cast, I gave it the four stars only because it's not as complete as the CD. After all most of the people that would buy the concert version would also have been fans of the original show itself so why not include all the production numbers.Maybe if enough people make compaints do you think they may re-do this DVD?To all those wonderful women who were in the original production,,,Hats off, to those wonderful girls.. The likes of this will never come again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim's Follies - How to Make a Musical. December 14, 2007
In spite of the fact that I am a Follies Fanatic, junkie, and completist, I missed this concert. Back in 1971, I was too young to fully appreciate Follies and although I bought the OBC and loved it, I didn't get to see FOLLIES on stage before it closed.

By the time 1985 rolled around, I was ecstatic at the thought of this revival and planned on buying tickets and attending. It "sold out" within an hour or so and I coudn't get tickets. I should have slept on the ground in front of Lincoln Center.

Anyway,the concert gave us a new cast recording with almost all the music restored. And then, there was the VHS of this presentation, half-concert and half documentary. I purchased the VHS and, years later DVD. The DVD is only the VHS material transferred to DVD. There were no new additions but I think I prefer the DVD because the sound and picture are ever so slightly better. The back stage comments and rehearsals are wonderful for any musical theater fan and anyone who has ever been involved in the production of a musical on any scale from Community Theater to Broadway. It's fun to see these big name producers and legendary stars have trouble with their lyrics, squirm and get the jitters just like they were novices. It's still hard work, and it never gets easy. But,as Elaine Stritch says waiting in the wings to go on "It's Fun, Gawdammit!". You get all the excitement of an opening night as seen through the eyes of these performers. I actually met Lee Remick not too long after this concert. She was as beautiful, charming and as gracious as one could imagine. I asked her if there would ever be a release of the entire concert and she said "No, owing to the fact that the concert was a benefit".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 hours ago by MRS C WILLIAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
{t may not the original but it is better than none.
Published 1 month ago by robert/w/brooky
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Beautiful Girls!
Follies is one of Steven Sondheim's best shows. This concert version gives us a preview of the four days of preparation for the production. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Vinny
1.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly terrible
My Sondheim-loving kid nagged me for weeks to see this, and we were only able to get through about a third of it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mel in Vermont
5.0 out of 5 stars "Follies" a Joy
This production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in Concert is a joy to watch. From the rehearsals to the live concert; from watching Carol Burnett, Barbara Cook, George Hearn, and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John T. Hitchner
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular!!!
this is the finest and must accurate that could be expected it leaves nothing to be desired and there could be no better
Published 5 months ago by donald g christian
4.0 out of 5 stars S.S. Follies
Real good, but not as good as I expected. I would recommend to those who like this janre of music.
Published 10 months ago by anne caggiano
5.0 out of 5 stars In Stephen's arms, on Stephen's shoulder, I won't get older. Ah,...
Follies is one of Steve's early shows, and wildly creative. The "In Concert" format works well, as established stars take turns "stopping the show! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gee
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Follies
I don't know why I waited so long to order this. It's the best!!! Like new !! Cannot wait to order more as the quality and speed were First Rate.
Published 16 months ago by Lucy1942
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Play!
I am currently in a class focusing on the works of Sondheim. I enjoy watching the performances compared to just reading the play. Read more
Published 19 months ago by saray13
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Topic From this Discussion
If FOLLIES is were a movie, whom would you cast in the various roles.
What about Streisand? Couldn't she play an abundance of the roles in this movie? She may be 66 years old, but she looks, I vocally we all know she wouldn't have a problem....
May 27, 2008 by gerwill |  See all 5 posts
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