Follies

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00285 FOLLIES at the National Theatre (c) Johan Persson

Eleanor and I were fortunate enough to have booked tickets for the new National Theater production of “Follies” before it went into previews. By the time we got to London two weeks ago, it had opened to rave reviews and was a very tough ticket. It’s a spectacular production, and we’ve seen several major productions. This one is two hours and fifteen minutes with no intermission, as was the original “Follies.” Imelda Staunton as Sally was a bit of a surprise, but her singing was superb. The wonderful dancing of Zizi Strallen as Young Phyllis was terrific. And this was the first “Follies” where the final “Follies” (“Loveland” through “Live Laugh Love”) made real sense to me. And I prefer the Lucy/Jessie number to “AH But Underneath” that was written for the big London production because Diana Rigg couldn’t dance. All in all, it was a thrilling evening of musical theater, and we came away understanding the characters better than any previous production. If you have the chance to be in London, or to watch the National Theater live event coming on Nov 12th to theaters around the world, take it.

Howard Morgan

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One Response to “Follies”

  1. I completely agree with this excellent review. Sondheim must be very pleased with the cast and the production values.

    Amadeus and Follies have saved an otherwise very poor season in the 1100 seat Olivier for Rufus.

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