Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Follies In Concert (1986)

A group of showgirls from the Weismann Follies in the 1940s reunite in the 1970s. But there are ghosts from the past in the theater that will take them back and confront their younger selves. Originally produced in 1971 where it was a critical success but not a financial one, Stephen Sondheim's musical may well be his masterpiece. In 1985, a staged concert of his musical directed by Herbert Ross (STEEL MAGNOLIAS) has taken on near legendary proportions. As thrilling as this document is of that night, it's frustrating because it's not complete. We're given bits and pieces of the production and even some of the full length numbers are abbreviated for the documentary. The first half is devoted to the rehearsals, the actors discuss the show and we see them in rehearsal. The second half is devoted to the concert itself. And what performers! The great Barbara Cook (who died this week) is a heartbreaking Sally and Elaine Stritch, whose upstaging of the other performers becomes irritating, kills it with her rendition of Broadway Baby. I'm grateful for this archival record of the production but it's such a teaser making us hungry to see it all! The excellent cast includes Lee Remick, Carol Burnett, George Hearn, Phyllis Newman, Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Andre Gregory and Liliane Montevecchi. 

No comments:

Post a Comment