Monday, October 5, 2009
Last night and tonight, I watched the DVD of FOLLIES IN CONCERT,
performed in NYC live at Avery Fisher Hall produced in four days,
mainly to create a definitive album of the show.
The original 1971 production has become a cult favorite.
What was so completely thrilling, watching this 1985 show,
was the emotion the performers felt. I could feel it. They all knew
each other, and had known each other for years. So in a way, the lyrics
of the songs rang true to them, reflecting moments in their own
personal lives. The roster of performers couldn't have been better.
The audience went wild from the minute "The Beautiful Girls"
walked down the steps to the stage. Each performer was greeted
with such thunderous applause, you knew the audience was packed
with hard core Broadway fans. They knew the merits of each
Broadway star. To hear Elaine Stritch sing "Broadway Baby,"
made my heart pound, my eyes tear up, it brought down the house.
That woman gives 200% of herself to each word she sings, and says.
I found myself crying through much of the performance, because
there was something so touching, so personal, so vibrant about
this show. It really was a reunion in reality. Not just the story
of a reunion of showgirls, which Follies is, but a reunion of
Broadway stars who came together to make this happen in just
four days. Consumate professionals, afterwards they said to
each other, "Have you ever seen a night like this!" You could
see in their faces the joy they felt. One star said, "I like
the rehearsals better than doing the show!" They just loved
being together. It was all family.
Stephen Sondheim, bravo.
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