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Summaries

  • Based on the acclaimed 1971 Tony-winning Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman, FOLLIES tell the story of former cast members of Weissman Follies, reunited for the last time in their theatre which is to be demolished.


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Synopsis

  • What happens at a reunion? Between the World Wars in The United States The Follies was a driving force in Entertainment. From 1917 until 1945, America watched beautiful Girls descend elaborate staircases in spectacular costumes with sequined head dresses. The Follies created legends like Fanny Brice, Abbott & Costello, George M. Cohan, Eddie Cantor, Mae West and W.C. Fields. Song styles varied from ensemble tap routine to the legendary torch song and dances accompanied by full orchestras filled the stage and Americas hearts. Or at least that's how we remember it. And memory is a large part of nostalgia, isn't it? Follies is full of ghosts, for the lack of a better word; there are haunting memories in everyone's minds on this night and typical of a project by Sondheim, some of the ghosts are our own. Follies is both a celebration of an American Art and a Requiem for one. Perhaps not just an American Art, but America itself. Which, of course, is comprised of people. The setting is the stage of a theatre at which a Follies was staged every year for the twenty-eight years between the wars and tonight there is the first and last reunion of all the players, dancers, stars, crew, office staff and the producer himself who performed here because tomorrow morning the theatre is to be destroyed by a wrecking ball and turned into a parking lot. We focus on two couples Buddy and Sally, Ben and Phyllis and, of course, their innocent young counterparts: ghosts it almost seems in this overly elaborate and run down theatre. As the evening progresses we see a great deal about these four people and the dozens of other stars with whom they shared the stage. We see how their lives turned out and we wonder about the roads they didn't take. For the first time ever, they wonder this out loud, since the two couples, once very close friends, have not seen each other for many decades. Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd") wrote the score for this classic and brilliant musical with pastiche songs that glisten as they define and perhaps even mock both the follies and America itself, with the people always being the ones left, in the end, with the task of defining their own lives and their own value. The score for "Follies" contains as many classic standards as a Cole Porter or Gershwin musical and, in fact, more songs were written and then cut for this production than any other piece of theatre Sondheim has written in his career; many of the cut songs have become standards as well. The original book for ":Follies" was written by James Goldman ("A Lion in Winter") and produced and directed by the legendary Hal Prince ("Cabaret" "Sweeney Todd" "Phantom of The Opera" "Parade" "Bye Bye Birdie" and many others) It was nominated for a record eleven Tony Awards and won seven including best music and lyrics.

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