Thursday, January 19, 2012
I saw Follies yesterday, the Kennedy Center revival that's now at the Marquis. I have never seen it before, though I own the libretto and I know the music. I'd hesitated seeing it, because I had a very bad personal experience with one of the principal actors (not one of the leads) many years ago. But I got over that, and spent a wonderful afternoon at the Marquis. That is not my favorite Broadway house, but Derek McLane's design made me believe it actually was an old, warm theatre, as did Kai Harada's sound design. The only problem I had was with the ghosts. There are so many design possibilities with those ghosts, that didn't exist when the show was first produced in the 1970s, it was disappointing to see the design team made the same choice for this production.
I cannot say enough good things about the music and lyrics, or the acting. I'd had people tell me that the libretto may work on paper but not on stage- I disagree. It was crystal clear to me where we were, and moved fast enough all the way through. All the roles were beautifully cast. Florence Lacey, who was in the first Broadway musical I saw (Jerry Herman's The Grand Tour) played Sandra Crane beautifully. It's not that large a role, but it didn't matter. Bernadette Peters, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, Jan Maxwell- I've seen them all before, but I don't think I've ever seen them this good.