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Follies [Cast Recording]

Sondheim Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.60 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

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

Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Recording! Jan. 1 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars "Follies" for the ages Nov. 18 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing April 24 2003
By A Customer
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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4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Stands.... 'It's Still Here' Jan. 30 2003
Format:Audio CD
The fact that Stephen Sondheim's brilliant ode to several composers, still stands as a long-term reminder of good musical theater composing .... well, as the lyric goes, "I'm still here...." FOLLIES was one of the first Broadway musicals to drop the intermission, so that continuity in the plot could be maintained, not broken, and built on. And that it did. By the time the "Loveland" nightmare was flying in, taking over, bulldozing thru, and eventually, losing lustre, we had heard a complete score of several styles, hooks and hangups that has rarely, even today, been matched in such variety and scope. The ONLY REASON to buy this CD, is to have The Original Brdway Cast Album of the show. Well actually, you do get a 'bonus' with the added-in track of "One More Kiss," which was not included in the album's original release, due to LP "space constraints." And it IS a really lovely piece, too. There are a few better recorded revivals, concert versions, and re-stagings of the show, notably the Paper Mill Playhouse's truly COMPLETE recording (FOUR versions of "Lucy and Jessie" numbers all sung by Dee Hoty as 'Phyllis') which is FINALLY one of the recordings to include the elusive dance number, "Bolero D'Amour." But that aside, this first recording is The One to start your FOLLIES journey. I mean, how can one compare, and "Broadway Baby" dream, without the original, huh? <grin> Get it!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A better one exists
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2009 by One singular sensation...
4.0 out of 5 stars Should have been Complete.....
but what we have is great. This is one of those few albums where I dont have to skip past songs. The numbers are well performed. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by David
4.0 out of 5 stars What is good here is very good, but a lot is tedious.
Except for its version of "One More Kiss", I've known this recording for decades. The liner notes for this CD edition are new, however, and there is a passage within them... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars incestuous
This is the Sondheim musical that appeals especially to theatre people. Why? Because it is ABOUT theatre people. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars A show that should be more popular
A couple of years ago, the community theater I work at dug "Follies" out of the script library and we had a go at it. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2002 by Andrew Blackburn
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I love this CD. I didn't fully appreciate it until I saw the month-long revival in London at the Royal National Theatre--which was quite nice. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. This is Sondheim.
Having been a huge fan of "Sweeney Todd" and "Into the Woods" along with other Sondheim shows, I, for some reason, never bought this CD until recently. Read more
Published on June 27 2002 by J. F. Patterson
3.0 out of 5 stars Too raw
Follies is one of my favourite musicals of Sondheim.I truly admire his work both as a lyricist and a composer,but the real
charm of Sondheim is for me the combination of both. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Show!
After seeing this show at a community theatre, and working backstage for the same show, I fell in love with this musical. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2001
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