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.