With a 28 piece orchestra, “Follies” will feature a cast of 41 and star four-time Tony Award nominee Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark as Sally Durant Plummer, two-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, three-time Emmy Award nominee Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone and Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion. Other members of the company will be announced shortly.
With book by James Goldman and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Follies” is directed by Eric Schaeffer with choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by James Moore. The production features scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Kai Harada and the original orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick.
When former members of the “Weismann Follies” reunite on the eve of their theatre's demolition, two couples remember their past and face the harsher realities of the present. Reminiscing about their younger selves and the years gone by, the crumbling theatre brings back memories for both couples of good times and bad. Containing such well-known songs as “Broadway Baby,” “I’m Still Here,” “Too Many Mornings,” “Could I Leave You?” and “Losing My Mind,” “Follies” echoes the songs, exuberance and romance of the vaudeville days between the two World Wars.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times called the production, “. . .white-hot . . .vibrant and moving . . .a vigorous heart beats at the center of The Kennedy Center’s revival of ‘Follies.’” “A revival for the ages . . . ,” said Linda Winer of Newsday, “. . . a production worthy of this magnificent monument to musical theater.” Mark Kennedy of Associated Press called it “. . . a luscious treat . . . it’s head-spinning stuff,” while Steven Suskin of Variety said, “. . . thrilling and terrific . . .When done right, ‘Follies’ is one of the glories of the American musical. And this new revival from the Kennedy Center is done right!”
Originally produced on Broadway by Harold Prince with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, “Follies” opened on April 4, 1971, and starred Dorothy Collins, John McMartin, Gene Nelson and Alexis Smith. It ran for 522 performances in the Winter Garden Theatre and received seven Tony Awards®, including Best Original Score. The current Broadway run at the Marquis Theatre opened to critical acclaim September 12 after 38 preview performances. Prior to its Broadway run, the revival production played a highly successful six-week run in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater from May 7 to June 19, 2011.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, David M. Rubenstein, chairman, Michael M. Kaiser, president, is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. It is the nation’s busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. Now in its 40th season, the Center presents performances of music, dance and theatre; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. The Center has produced and co-produced “Annie” and the American premiere of “Les Misérables.” The Center also produced the “Sondheim Celebration” (six Stephen Sondheim musicals) in 2002, and “August Wilson’s 20th Century” (the playwright’s complete ten-play cycle) in 2008. In 2009, the Kennedy Center production of “Ragtime” featuring direction by Marcia Milgrom Dodge transferred to Broadway. Last year, the Kennedy Center mounted Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” starring Tyne Daly, who reprised the role at Manhattan Theatre Club under the direction of Stephen Wadsworth, who also directed the Kennedy Center production.
“Follies” is produced on Broadway by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (David M. Rubenstein, Chairman; Michael M. Kaiser, President; Max Woodward, Vice President); Nederlander Presentations, Inc.; Adrienne Arsht; HRH Foundation, Sponsor; Allan Williams, Executive Producer.
Tickets for “Follies” on Broadway are available through www.Ticketmaster.com, by calling (877) 250-2929, and in person at the Marquis Theatre box office. For more information, visit www.FolliesBroadway.com.
The New 2011 Broadway Cast Recording for “Follies” is now available on PS Classics.
JAN MAXWELL (Phyllis Rogers Stone) performed the role of Phyllis Rogers Stone in the Broadway and Kennedy Center engagements of Follies. She was nominated for two Tony Awards in 2010: for The Royal Family and Lend Me a Tenor. She received a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress for The Royal Family. Other Broadway: Coram Boy (Tony, Drama Desk noms.), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Drama Desk Award, Tony nom.), Sixteen Wounded (Drama Desk nom.), A Doll’s House, The Sound of Music, The Dinner Party, Dancing at Lughnasa, City of Angels. Off-Broadway: Victory, Scenes From an Execution (Drama Desk nom.) and Camille (all with Potomac Theatre Project/NYC); Wings (Second Stage); My Old Lady (Lortel Award, Drama Desk nom.). TV: “Law & Order,” “Gossip Girl.”
VICTORIA CLARK (Sally Durant Plummer). B’way: Sister Act (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC, Drama League noms.), The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC Awards), Titanic, How to Succeed…, Urinetown, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, A Grand Night for Singing, Sunday in the Park With George. Off-Bway: When the Rain Stops Falling (Drama Desk nom.); Love, Loss, and What I Wore; A Prayer for My Enemy; The Marriage of Bette & Boo; Tres Ninas; The Agony and the Agony; Marathon Dancing. Carnegie Hall: The Grapes of Wrath. Encores!: Juno, Follies, Bye Bye Birdie. Regional: Goodman Theatre (The Light in the Piazza, Jeff Award), Long Wharf, Intiman, Goodspeed Opera. Film: Harvest, The Happening, Tickling Leo, Main Street, Cradle Will Rock. TV: “Mercy,” “Law & Order,” “L&O: SVU.” Solo album: Fifteen Seconds of Grace.
DANNY BURSTEIN (Buddy Plummer) performed the role of Buddy Plummer in the Broadway and Kennedy Center engagements of Follies. Broadway: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk nominations, Outer Critics Circle Award), The Drowsy Chaperone (Tony and Ovation Award nominations), Saint Joan, The Seagull, Three Men on a Horse, A Little Hotel on the Side, The Flowering Peach, A Class Act, Titanic and Company. Off-Broadway: Mrs. Farnsworth; Psych; All in the Timing; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Merrily We Roll Along; Weird Romance; etc. Film/TV: Lolly Steinman on “Boardwalk Empire,” Nor’easter, Construction, “Louie,” “Absolutely Fabulous,” “Ed,” “Law & Order,” Transamerica, “Conviction,” “Hope & Faith,” Deception, etc.
RON RAINES (Benjamin Stone) performed the role of Benjamin Stone in the Broadway and Kennedy Center engagements of Follies. TV: “Guiding Light” (three-time Emmy nominee); PBS: “My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs,” “Ira Gershwin at 100,” “The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty,” “An Evening With the Pops.” Broadway/NY: Chicago; Show Boat; Teddy and Alice; Olympus on My Mind; Oh, Lady! Lady!; A Little Night Music. Regionally: South Pacific; Annie; Kismet; Kiss Me, Kate; The King and I; Brigadoon; Oklahoma!; Carousel; Side by Side by Sondheim; Man of La Mancha. More than 50 symphonies including the Boston Pops, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, Israeli Philharmonic, BBC, Royal Philharmonic. Recordings: Man of La Mancha, The Pajama Game, 110 in the Shade, Wonderful Town and more.
ELAINE PAIGE (Carlotta Campion) performed the role of Carlotta Campion in the Broadway and Kennedy Center engagements of Follies. An actress, recording artist, concert performer, producer and broadcaster, Olivier Award winner and five-time nominee, Paige created the role of Eva Peron in Evita and thereafter created the roles of Grizabella in Cats (the song “Memory” becoming her signature) and Florence in Chess. Further productions include Sunset Boulevard (London/New York), Anything Goes, Piaf, The King and I and Sweeney Todd (Drama Desk nomination). Elaine has recorded 26 albums, received an OBE for services to musical theatre and presents a weekly BBC Radio 2 program “Elaine Paige on Sunday.” www.elainepaige.com
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