You may be thinking, ‘Oh, not another article about Broadway revivals.’ But bear with me for a moment, because the revival of ‘Follies’ on Broadway is a topic worth exploring.
This iconic musical, with its captivating story and unforgettable songs, has left an indelible mark on the world of theater. And if you’re curious about when it was revived on Broadway, get ready for an intriguing journey through time.
From the acclaimed 2001 revival to the recent 2011 production, the reimagining of ‘Follies’ has brought new life to this beloved show. But there’s more to this story than just dates and productions.
So, hang on tight, because we’re about to uncover the fascinating history and impact of ‘Follies’ on the Great White Way.
2001 Broadway Revival
The Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ in 2011, starring Bernadette Peters, garnered critical acclaim and brought this iconic musical back to the forefront of the theater scene. The revival featured a talented cast, including Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, and Elaine Paige.
The original production of ‘Follies’ in 1971 wasn’t recognized at the Tony Awards, but this revival received the recognition it deserved. The show explores themes of love, regret, and the decline of the American Dream. Set during a reunion of performers from the Weissman Follies, the musical takes place in a fictionalized version of revues in early 20th century New York. As the showgirls and their partners gather to say goodbye to the theater before it’s demolished, they reflect on missed opportunities and attempt to change dissatisfied lives.
Despite some imperfections, the revival of ‘Follies’ received critical acclaim. Mary Beth Peil, Jayne Houdyshell, Terri White, Elaine Paige, and Jan Maxwell delivered standout performances that showcased their talent and brought the characters to life.
The visuals and production elements, such as the elaborate headdresses and the tulle roses, added an elegant touch to the production. Overall, the Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ was a rewarding experience for theater enthusiasts and solidified the musical’s enduring legacy.
2011 Broadway Revival
The 2001 Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ breathed new life into this iconic musical, captivating audiences with its talented cast and powerful performances. Starring Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, and Elaine Paige, this production brought fresh energy to the stage.
The show, which explores themes of love, regret, and the decline of the American Dream, received critical acclaim despite some imperfections. Mary Beth Peil shone in the role of a French glamour-puss, while Jayne Houdyshell brought fresh comic nuances to the song ‘Broadway Baby’. Terri White delivered a powerful performance in the ensemble number ‘Who’s That Woman’, and Elaine Paige’s rendition of ‘I’m Still Here’ was filled with bruised experience and jaded humor. Jan Maxwell’s performance of ‘Could I Leave You?’ showcased magnificent wounded rage.
Visually, the production featured spectral showgirls in elaborate headdresses, creating an elegant touch. Although the first act struggled to find its flow, the set design by Derek McLane, lighting by Natasha Katz, and choreography by Warren Carlyle added depth and creativity to the overall production.
The 2001 Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ left a lasting impact on audiences, reaffirming the enduring appeal of this musical.
Broadway Revivals: Highlights and Reception
After breathing new life into the iconic musical with its talented cast and powerful performances, the 2011 Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ garnered critical acclaim and left a lasting impact on audiences. Starring Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, and Elaine Paige, the revival brought fresh energy and new interpretations to the beloved show.
Audiences were captivated by the exploration of themes such as love, regret, and the decline of the American Dream. Despite some imperfections, the revival received widespread praise from critics for its performances and production values.
Mary Beth Peil’s portrayal of a French glamour-puss, Jayne Houdyshell’s comedic nuances in ‘Broadway Baby,’ Terri White’s powerful rendition of ‘Who’s That Woman,’ Elaine Paige’s bruised and humorous take on ‘I’m Still Here,’ and Jan Maxwell’s magnificent performance of ‘Could I Leave You?’ were among the highlights of the production.
The visuals and production elements, including the elegant showgirls in elaborate headdresses, Derek McLane’s stunning set, Natasha Katz’s lighting, and Warren Carlyle’s imaginative choreography, added to the overall impact of the revival.
The 2011 Broadway revival of ‘Follies’ solidified the musical’s enduring legacy and demonstrated its continued appeal to theater enthusiasts.
West End Productions of Follies
West End productions of Follies have showcased the enduring popularity and success of the musical outside of the United States. The first West End production took place in 1987, introducing London audiences to the captivating world of Follies. Since then, the musical has had several successful runs in the West End, attracting both critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.
The most recent West End revival of Follies in 2017 featured the talented Imelda Staunton and received high praise for its performances and production values. This production further solidified Follies’ impact on the West End theater scene and highlighted its ability to resonate with international audiences.
The success of Follies in the West End is a testament to the timeless appeal and enduring legacy of the musical. It continues to captivate theater enthusiasts around the world, proving that its themes of love, regret, and the decline of the American Dream resonate universally.
Concert Versions of Follies
When exploring the various iterations of Follies, it’s important to note the impact and significance of concert versions of the musical. One notable concert version took place in 1985 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. This star-studded production featured a talented cast including Barbara Cook, George Hearn, Mandy Patinkin, Lee Remick, and Carol Burnett.
Carol Burnett’s performance of ‘I’m Still Here’ was particularly powerful and memorable. These concert versions allowed audiences to experience the iconic score of Follies in a different format, showcasing the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics.
The concert version of Follies brought renewed interest in the musical and its score, reminding audiences of the enduring legacy of the show. With its exploration of the gap between youthful dreams and grim reality, Follies remains a cult favorite among Stephen Sondheim’s works.
The concert versions of Follies served as a testament to the show’s impact and continued popularity, capturing the essence of the original production through the power of the score.
Enduring Legacy of Follies
The enduring legacy of Follies is a testament to its impact and continued popularity in the world of theater. For over 50 years, Follies has captivated artists and audiences alike, solidifying its status as a significant contribution to the theater industry. Its themes and storytelling continue to resonate with audiences, making it a timeless classic. Follies’ anniversary serves as a reminder of its enduring impact on the theater industry.
Throughout the years, Follies has been celebrated and remembered through numerous productions and revivals. From its original production in 1971 to the Broadway revivals in 2001 and 2011, Follies has consistently attracted new audiences and received critical acclaim. Its popularity on Broadway showcases its enduring appeal and ability to captivate theater enthusiasts.
Not only has Follies thrived on Broadway, but it has also made its mark in London’s West End with several successful productions. The 2017 West End revival, featuring Imelda Staunton, received critical acclaim, further solidifying Follies’ impact on the theater scene outside of the United States.
Follies’ enduring legacy is also evident in its concert versions. These performances allowed audiences to experience the musical in a different format, showcasing the power and beauty of Stephen Sondheim’s score. The concert versions of Follies brought renewed interest and appreciation for the musical, highlighting its significance among Sondheim’s works.
Impact of Follies: Perception and Changes in Broadway
Follies’ enduring legacy is evident not only in its continued popularity and critical acclaim, but also in its impact on the perception of Broadway and the changes that have occurred over the years.
The show, with its exploration of the lives of middle-aged performers and the gap between youthful dreams and grim reality, debunked the romantic myths of Broadway. It revealed the wasted lives and struggles of these performers, shedding light on the harsh realities behind the glitz and glamour.
Since its original production in 1971, New York has changed, with more Broadway theaters being demolished and the production of new American musicals slowing down. However, the concert version of Follies, which brought back stars from the golden era of Broadway, evoked nostalgia for the glamorous old Broadway era and honored a restored musical treasure.
Follies’ impact on Broadway has been significant, challenging the perception of what a musical can be and reminding audiences of the complexity and depth that theater can offer.
In conclusion, the Broadway revivals of ‘Follies’ have brought new life to this beloved musical, captivating audiences with its timeless story and unforgettable performances.
From the 2001 revival to the recent 2011 production, ‘Follies’ has continued to make its mark on the Great White Way.
With its enduring legacy and impact on the theatrical landscape, ‘Follies’ remains a cherished and significant contribution to the world of Broadway.
So, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magic of ‘Follies’ for yourself!