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Follies Cast Recording

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 17 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B000002SNP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,253 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Prologue: Beautiful Girls
2. Don't Look At Me
3. Waiting For The Girls Upstairs
4. Ah! Paris/Broadway Baby
5. The Road You Didn't Take
6. In Buddy's Eyes
7. Who's That Woman?
8. I'm Still Here
9. Too Many Mornings
10. The Right Girl
11. One More Kiss
12. Could I Leave You?
13. You're Gonna Love Tomorow/Love Will See Us Through
14. The God Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues
15. Losong My Mind
16. The Story Of Lucy & Jessie
17. Live, Laugh & Love/Finale

Product Description


The scene: an abandoned theater, where a group of performers--alumni from the fictional musical revue The Weismann Follies--is holding a reunion shortly before the building is to be turned to rubble. The long-retired players relive their careers through Stephen Sondheim's brilliant pastiches of past songwriters, sometimes accompanied in song or dance by the ghosts of their previous selves. At the same time, four of the people (two married couples) are remembering their pasts and wondering whether they chose their spouses--and the course of their lives--correctly. The 1971 original cast of Follies included many former Broadway and Hollywood stars--Dorothy Collins, Gene Nelson, Alexis Smith, Mary McCarty--and the pedigree and sheer size of the cast kept the show from profitability despite a decent run (and also keep it from being frequently revived).

This recording of Stephen Sondheim's legendary show has become something of a legend itself. The score included 22 songs, but because the cost of recording a two-LP set was considered prohibitive, a number of songs were omitted and others were abridged. As a result, this too-brief 58 minutes can't be considered the final statement on Follies (for more music, try the uneven but sometimes electric 1985 concert recording or the 1998 New Jersey revival), but listen to Yvonne DeCarlo sing the anthem "I'm Still Here" or Collins sing the heartbreaking "Losing My Mind" and you'll know that the original cast had a special magic that has yet to be surpassed. --David Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The show was superb, from the moment you entered the theatre and found yourself in a near-wreck inhabited by ghosts, to Ben's breakdown. The songs, all of them, were sensational. The cast,well,loved them all but who would have thought that Alexis Smith could have been such a red-spangled dream? Then Capitol Records got hold of it, and down it went for the count. They should have been sued. I'm told that they had all the recorded numbers at one time - too bad they don't iussue a CD package with all that discarded material. But a few years ago, a double CD did come out with all of the music from Broadway, London, and a few other productions. That's the one to buy. Everyone is good - no one's great - though some come close - all the songs are there, in their entirety, and for North American's who have never heard "Ah, But Underneath", there is at least one top-drawer Sondheim song in store for them. And Ann Miller does do "I'm Still Here" in the most believable version ever, because Annie was essentially at the end of a phenomenal career - but there's also the joy of her "Can That Boy Fox-Trot", a sly and sneaky little number that "I'm Still Here" replaced....why couldn't Carlotta have sung both of them? All in all, this is where to wisely invest your money and time if you can only have one version.
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Format: Audio CD
Follies was defintely a labor of love for Sondheim. After reading the book, "Everything Was Possible," you realize what a burden it was to get this show to take off. The album isn't complete, and they cut parts of songs and actually cut whole numbers on this CD, but the cast is wonderful. Dorothy Collins is my favorite member of the cast. She has such a warm voice that is just bursting with emotion. She also has a GREAT range. She can belt and also hit Gs! It's like a revalation to hear her sing this role! Buddy isn't very strong vocally, but he is a great actor and is a convincing Buddy. John McMartin is my 2rd favorite Ben, but he is still good. Ben is supposed to have some class, and McMartin doesn't do that for me. George Hearn is my favorite, but McMartin doesa good job. Alexis Smith is great! Her singing isn't amazing, but she just sings her song with great conviction. I still think Dorothy Collins should have gottent he Tony.
The score is superb and is my 2nd favorite Sondheim score. The supporting cast is great, and its fun to see a few people in small one song roles who eventually became stars on Broadway, i.e Kurt Peterson and Victoria Mallory. If you want the best cast, don't buy this recording, get the concert cast recording, but if you want the ebst emotional expression and originality of the performances, get this recording. Also, get it for Dorothy Collins.
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Format: Audio CD
FOLLIES is one of the grandest of Broadway musicals. The original production was a financial and critical disappointment, though quickly the musical gained a cult following thanks to the cast album that was left behind.
The story concerns the reunion of the "Weismann Follies", a troupe of players who performed between the two wars, brought back together 30 years later for a get-together when the theatre they once called home is to be torn down for a parking-lot.
The cast is led by veteran Hollywood stars Alexis Smith, Dorothy Collins and Gene Nelson, with Broadway veteran John McMartin. Others in the incantory cast include Mary McCarty (MISS LIBERTY, CHICAGO), Fifi D'Orsay, Ethel Shutta (JENNIE), Yvonne De Carlo, Ethel Barrymore Colt and Arnold Moss. Justine Johnson and Victoria Mallory (A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC) also feature.
Dorothy Collins is breathtaking in the role of Sally Durante Plummer (the role has been coveted by many Broadway diva's including Barbara Cook and Judy Kaye), and sings gorgeous versions of the show's two pivotal ballads, "In Buddy's Eyes" and "Losing My Mind". Alexis Smith plays the cynical and jaded Phyllis Rogers Stone, and sings the bitter, barb-choked "Could I Leave You?" and "The Story of Lucy and Jessie" perfectly.
Justine Johnson plays the aging opera diva Heidi Schiller, and sings the heartbreaking "One More Kiss" in a duet with Victoria Mallory as the younger Heidi. Mary McCarty is a delight as the scene-stealing Stella Deems, and leads the girls in the manic 'mirror number' "Who's That Woman?". Yvonne De Carlo belts out the anthemic "I'm Still Here" for all its worth.
FOLLIES is one of Stephen Sondheim's most intriguing and rewarding scores, and the original cast album is a must-own for all Broadway fans.
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By A Customer on April 24 2003
Format: Audio CD
FOLLIES, more than any other Sondheim cast album, presents the fascinating question why Sondheim's original casts always seem the perfect embodiment of their characters--far more than is so of the casts of the shows of other writers. One answer may be that Sondheim writes with such depth, substance, and particularity, that his songs require meticulously chosen casts, meticulously and intensely rehearsed. Other musicals's characters, no matter how pleasing the songwriting, are never as dimensional and particular, so the songs can be performed by a wider variety of performer. It may also be that, in fashioning the very first version of the musical, the creators take a much more intense, closer, involvement in every step of creation, including that of the cast album.
That may explain why later FOLLIES albums, though notable for the inclusion of new Sondheim bonbons, and some terrific performances here and there, have never lived up to the power of the original.
The original FOLLIES surpasses the single flaw of the lack of a full score and some non-sequitor transitions, by the extraordinary lack of distance between performer and character, character and song.
Though this perfect album would have been more perfect if it had been a double disc from the start, all those complaints in the other reviews are justified only by the tin ears and tin hearts of the reviewers.
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