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Evan C

Follies

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Evan C   

I know we have a few Sondheim threads, but I figured I start one for Follies.

I just pulled out my CD of the 2011 Broadway Revival, and listening to it again, I'm struck with admiration (even more than I remembered) for its scope and grandeur, which I really think this recording captures (the lush 27 piece orchestra, performances by Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige, Ron Raines). James Goldman's book along with Sondheim's score hauntingly balances between nostalgia for a time past and the tragic reality the characters have built for themselves. While the 2011 revival may take grandiose nature of nearly every number to an 11, by doing I so, I really think it captures that mix of beautiful, gaudy, tragic, and poignant.

Does anyone have a favorite recording/production?  Any thoughts on the musical in general?

Edited by Evan C

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I saw the 2011 production on Broadway. I hear from reliable sources that it is the only production to capture something of the original production's power. It ranks among the most memorable theatrical experiences of my life. I had tears in my eyes when it concluded. Peters' rendition of "Losing My Mind" will haunt me for the rest of my days.

This is sometimes my favorite Sondheim musical. It's untidy and uneven, but when performed well, it's as visceral as theater gets.

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Evan C   

The original cast recording was so truncated that it really didn't portray the emotional power and sweeping scale of the production beyond highlighting several great numbers. I have to say I think the 2011 recording is definitive both for including the entire score and for the uniformly excellent performances. I so badly wish I had seen the 2011 revival when it played on Broadway.

I think the unevenness actually works in the musical's favor. It's basically a series of virtuosic showstoppers through which performers come to terms with their memories, and the untidiness adds to the rawness of emotions.

And Peters singing "Loosing My Mind," Paige singing "I'm Still Here," Maxwell singing "Could I Leave You," and Raines singing "Too Many Mornings" are all hauntingly gorgeous.

 

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