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Follies (New Broadway Cast Recording) Cast Recording

4.5 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, November 29, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and librettist James Goldman's landmark 1971 musical returns to Broadway in a production The New York Times raved '[makes] you realize anew just why Follies is one of the greatest musicals ever written.' A bittersweet look at the follies of youth seen through the eyes of age and experience, this new production stars two-time Tony Award-winner Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, four-time Tony Award-nominee Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, two-time Tony Award-nominee Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, three-time Emmy Award-nominee Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone and four-time Olivier Award-nominee Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion, under the direction of Eric Schaeffer. The cast of 41 is backed up by a 28-piece orchestra, conducted by James Moore. The Tony Award-winning score -- 21 songs in all -- reveals the full range of Sondheim's brilliance, nimbly alternating between incisive, insightful book numbers ('Waiting for the Girls Upstairs,' 'The Road You Didn't Take,' 'Could I Leave You') and stunning pastiches of yesteryear ('Broadway Baby,' 'Beautiful Girls,' 'Losing My Mind'). Now, PS Classics and producer Tommy Krasker -- who has helmed over a dozen Sondheim cast recordings -- preserve this unparalleled work of genius in an expansive two-disc set.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prologue
  2. Overture
  3. Welcome to our first - and last - reunion...
  4. Beautiful Girls
  5. You came; you're really here...
  6. Don't Look at Me
  7. I never get to talk...
  8. Waiting for the Girls Upstairs
  9. Rain on the Roof
  10. Ah, Paris!
  11. Broadway Baby
  12. The Road You Didn't Take
  13. Bargains, Buddy...
  14. In Buddy's Eyes
  15. Let's dish. Tell me everything...
  16. Who's That Woman?

Disc: 2

  1. Follies, musical play: I had a Follies number once...
  2. Follies, musical play: I'm Still Here
  3. Follies, musical play: Too Many Mornings
  4. I had a Follies number once...
  5. I'm Still Here
  6. Too Many Mornings
  7. The Right Girl
  8. Men are so sweet...
  9. One More Kiss
  10. According to statistics...
  11. Could I Leave You?
  12. You'll make a good wife, Phyl...
  13. Loveland
  14. You're Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through
  15. The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues
  16. Losing My Mind
  17. The Story of Lucy and Jessie
  18. Live, Laugh, Love
  19. Chaos
  20. End of Show
  21. Follies, musical play: Loveland
  22. Follies, musical play: You're Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through
  23. Follies, musical play: The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues
  24. Follies, musical play: The Story of Lucy and Jessie
  25. Follies, musical play: Live, Laugh, Love
  26. Follies, musical play: Chaos
  27. Follies, musical play: End of Show

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 29, 2011)
  • Deluxe ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: P.S. Classics
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,882 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Chamberlain VINE VOICE on November 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The CD of the 2011 Follies revival has been released! Short version of my review: buy this CD now. No, really. Buy it now.

And now the longer version. Before seeing the 2011 revival, I was only dimly aware of "Follies"--mostly that while Sondheim fans loved it, it was a difficult show to pull off. And I had only a fleeting knowledge of the songs themselves. But this production blew me away, and now there are 5-6 songs I can't imagine living without. There's one of the best showbiz anthems, the very best survival song, the best divorce song, and so on. Magnificent score! But several other renditions of the Broadway score exist... do we need a new one?


For those unfamiliar with it, "Follies" is a show about aging showgirls and their spouses who come together for a reunion in their former theater the night before it's torn down. The story is one of nostalgia, lost dreams, survival and roads not taken.

One thing worth saying upfront is that "Follies" really is a show that has to be seen, especially when it was acted as strongly as this production. Many times, the music is subtext to what's happening on stage, or the stage action deeply colors the songs. The Mirror Number, "Who's That Woman," is a perfect example. Hearing it, it's a great song. But to get the full effect, you have to see all these veteran performers recalling their youth by dancing it one last time (it was one of their marquee songs from the good ol' days), and it becomes an overwhelming showstopper. But then you realize that their dance partners are the ghosts of their former selves, when they were young showgirls at the height of their glory, and it moves you to tears. I'm not sure if that gamut of emotions carries though just listening to it.
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Format: Audio CD
Suffice to say, "Follies" is one of the most legendary musicals. This is for a number of reasons: its creation was one of exhaustion and trial-and-elimination. The Original Broadway Production was curiously received (obtaining either smashing or devastating or, even worse, ambiguously indifferent reviews), and was a box office disaster. Finally, the cast recording infamously cut or short-changed a large portion of the score. Despite the quality of the performers and the production, the recording itself has never felt more than adequate. It's since been revived, albeit infrequently, by notable companies over time. First, there was the recording with the New York Philharmonic in the 1980's, which featured the full, glorious score, as well as several noticeable stars, such as Lee Remick, Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, Barbara Cook (despite what anyone ever says, I find both her Sally and delivery of "Losing My Mind" exceptionally underwhelming), and Carol Burnett. Then there's the London Cast from the late 80's. Although not perfect, it makes a good listen. Julia McKenzie and Dianna Rigg headed the cast, and made for strong leads (McKenzie's "Losing My Mind" is a force to be reckoned with), although the changes to the book and score detrimentally affected the show as a whole ("Country House" is a enjoyable number, but in no way replaces "the Road You Didn't Take", and the upbeat finale was disgraceful). Dolores Gray excelled with "I'm Still Here", though. The Papermill Playhouse recording in the 90's was acceptable but unremarkable; Donna McKechnie and Dee Hoty made for a lively, but not outstanding Sally and Phyllis. The inclusion of previously cut numbers on the recording made the album a must have though.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My journey to discovering Follies happened largely by accident. Looking to see a show on Broadway with a friend we both decided on Follies. My previous knowledge of the play was minimal at best, knowing only of Stephen Sondheim and his reputation as a genius. Everything seemed to be going against us that day. Our train was late, we didn't buy tickets in advance, and on top of all that Hurricane Irene was preparing to hit us the next day! And yet everything went even better than planned. Thanks to our neighbor sitting next to us in the theater we got a background about the play. It was originally brought to the stage in 1971, included Yvonne De Carolo(of Munsters fame), and according to him was the best play he'd ever seen. To make a long story short I can't speak for the 1971 play since I've never seen it, but 2011 Follies was one of the best plays I'd ever seen. It's so unlike anything I'd seen on Broadway. It was a play for grown ups about aging, marriage, regrets, and everything in between.
The cd I am happy to report was able to hold on to the spirit of the musical. Bernadette Peters is amazing seemlessly capturing the broken and shattered Sally. Elaine Paige is magnificent and show stopping, but the real revelation for me at least was Jan Maxwell who sings with real passion especially on the number "Could I Leave You?" Do yourself a favor and buy this cd. It's magical and gets deeper and better with each listen.
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The twentieth century was worth enduring since Stephen Sondheim was on hand to sum it up. If anyone still doubts that Follies is one of the towering masterpieces of the American musical theater, he needs to hear this new recording. The cast is superb, the orchestrations sound richer than ever, and the inclusion of much of the dialogue allows for a deeper appreciation of the work as a whole than was possible in previous recordings.

When the show first opened, it was commonplace to applaud the songs and dismiss the book as second rate. Perhaps because the actors are all so splendid, the book sounds damned good in this recording, spare and ironic, but filled with haunting lines that segue effortlessly into the ironic nostalgia of Sondheim's songs.

I remember Bernadette Peters as the slapstick ingenue on the Carol Burnett Show. It would have been difficult to imagine back then that she would ever grow into the stunning singing actress that she is now. Listen to her opening lines in the Prologue. The show has barely started and already I'm on the verge of tears. And Jan Maxwell is a diamond studded tigress as Phyllis. The Saga of Lucy and Jessie never sounded better, and Could I Leave You? will take your breath away.

In Follies, the men generally tend to take a back seat to the women, but not Danny Burstein's Buddy. His portrayal of a decent man trapped in a tortured marriage is heartbreaking and both his solos are show stoppers. Ron Raines is good as Ben, but he doesn't makes the same indelible impression as the other three.

Elaine Page (with a remarkably good American accent) is the sexiest Carlotta I've ever heard, but she seems to slur her words a few times in I'm Still Here ("HerberJedgarhoovah") which is unfortunate.
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