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Customer Review

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO FOLLY HERE, December 1, 2011
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This review is from: Follies (New Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I have just made up my mind, or am I just losing my mind, but "Follies" is Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece. The frame of the show is a 30 year reunion of the performers in the Weisman Follies on the evening before the theatre is to be torn down. The main focus of the book concerns two unhappily married couples. Ben and Phyllis are the affluent couple and Sally and Buddy the luckless couple but Sally has a secret--she had a crush on Ben 30 years ago and she still does, and she doesn't do a good job of hiding it. Buddy also has a secret-he has a mistress on the side. As for Ben and Phyllis-she has cheated on Ben.

I haven't seen this production but judging from the photos in the booklet the costumes and scenery are not as lavish as they were in the original 1971 production but they have a large orchestra and a cast of 41.(A reproduction of Follies as it was produced in 1971 would be cost prohibitive)

Elaine Page plays Carlotta Campion whose career is encapsulated in the song "I'm Still Here". When the original production was trying out in Boston, Yvonne DiCarlo had a number called, "Can that Boy Fox-trot". The song didn't work because everyone noticed the tune did not fit with her whiskey, beer, cigaretty voice, so Sondheim fashioned "I'm Still Here" for her and she hit a home run. Elaine Page sings the song well but DiCarlo sounded like she LIVED it.

Danny Burstein is good as Buddy and sounds like he is having fun singing "The-God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues" and he also socks across "The Right Girl". Unless my memory is failing me I seem to remember there was a longer dance break in the mddle of that number, but then again, Gene Nelson who was the original Buddy and an old-pro dancer/actor and maybe for that production, Michael Bennett may have fashioned a longer dance routine for him.

Jan Maxwell is fine as Phyllis and her cool and brittle exterior crumbles when she hisses and snaps "Could I Leave You" at her in-attentive and workaholic husband.

Bernadette Peters exceded my expectations and she was unbelievably great as the sad, delusional Sally. Dorothy Collins still owns that song but I have no problem with Ms Peter's rendition of "Losing My Mind".. well just one teensie, weensie problem.....the last word in the song is "Mind" and she loudly emphasizes the D so when she ends the number singing the word mind it sounds like DUH.

The score is loaded with goodies including the legendary "Broadway Baby" and other favorites such as "Ahh Paree" Waiting for The Girls Upstairs" "In Buddy's Eyes" "Too Many Mornings" "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Love Will See Us Through" "Beautiful Girls" and of course, "Who's That Woman?"

This is the only "Follies" you will need, the full score, intro dialogue for the songs and mostly great performances.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 2, 2011, 11:19:17 AM PST
Tom George says:
Hey Robert, saw this at the Kennedy Center, and if there is anyway you can to NY before Jan 22, do all you can to see it. It will stay with you forever. Absolutely amazing!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011, 11:56:49 AM PST
Tom Health issues preclude a trip to Broadway (I'm aging faster than I want to) but I have a source where I will be able to get a er-hem, secretly taped performance. I'm surprised the show is only playing through Jan 22-so it will end it's short run in the red. The CD includes every note and there are many tracks of just dialogue which seque into the next number. And one of this CD's many highlights is "Who's That Woman?" Wow.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2011, 12:04:37 PM PST
Tom George says:
Look up Losing My Mind on YouTube, there a really good clips of most of the musical numbers posted there.

Posted on Dec 19, 2011, 11:29:42 AM PST
Jason says:
Positives votes for the effort and passion with which you remain dedicated to this medium.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012, 9:21:10 AM PST
J. Munyon says:
Bernadette Peters has always exceeded my expectations (so far). You nearly convince me to consider Yvonne DiCarlo singing "I'm Still Here." Good review.
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