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FOLLIES- National Theatre Live

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GavestonPS
#175FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/2/18 at 6:50am

^^^ Good examples and thank you for the update.

I was thinking of the trend in the 1960s through
1980s of hiring British play directors to helm
American musicals (yes, including Gielgud).

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RippedMan
#176FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/3/18 at 2:31am

When's the next NYC showing? I keep wanting to see this and then forgetting, ha.

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MadonnaMusical
#177FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/3/18 at 7:05pm

rattleNwoolypenguin said: "I really just loved how this was the first production where when you find out the leads have all been stepping out on each other that it's not like "ew what monstrous unlikable people" and more "wow. I really pity these people whose disillusionment and depression brought the worst out of them"

I've never felt so sad for the characters before this production. It's just tremendously sad throughout.
"

Actually... I think that is just a realization that comes with age. The more you age... the more you will understand FOLLIES. 

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MadonnaMusical
#178FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/3/18 at 7:09pm

Musicaldudepeter said: "There's an interesting letter from James Goldman written to Hal Prince during the rehearsal period for the original Follies, as quoted in Ted Chapin's book which cleared up that Ben/Sally scene for me - he writes "For Ben, Sally represents unfinished business. It's not the lady herself who attracts him and evokes old feelings. It's the past within himself that he has never faced or come to terms with.""

To me that's always been clear through the lyrics of THE ROAD YOU DIDN'T TAKE.

JBC3
#179FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/3/18 at 9:43pm

Apparently there will be a cast recording

theatreboard.co.uk/thread/1654/follies?page=118

Jarethan
#180FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 1/25/18 at 9:01pm

I was finally able to see this last week in Sarasota, Fl.  I was trepidatious because the original production, which I saw 5 times, remains my favorite theatre experience of all-time, warts and all, i.e., the book.  Trepidatious because  -- based on a number of postings here -- it sounded like Imelda Staunton was giving another over-the-top performance; also, because it sounded like the specialty numbers were being de-emphasized.

I would have to say that this is the second best production that I have seen to date (i.e., including Paper Mill, Encores, London original, Belasco and Marquis versions).  I overall loved it, although there are things that could have been better. 

'Special' Positives:

-- Some folks have said they didn't like the stage design that much.  I thought the design was terrific.  As good as the original?  No, but it had totally different challenges and opportunities.  I loved the design of Loveland much more than any production since the original; and at least as much as the original.

-- Something I never thought I would ever say: I actually think the overall Loveland sequence was as good as the original production, clearly aided by the design approach for the sets and costumes, which I thought were perfect...and so different from any other production that I can recall.  I though Sally's boudoir was such a smart choice vs. the standard approach that every other production used.  It really worked for me.  (Note: My favorite Loveland segment ever was Donna Murphy's Lucy and Jessie at Encores; my second favorite still remains Ben's breakdown in the original production).

-- I thought Imelda Staunton did a GREAT job with Losing My Mind; don't know what I was expecting, but not what I got.  She was as good in this number as anyone I have ever seen play Sally (even if I did think her overall performance was a little too overwrought from the beginning).

Negatives:

-- I did not love the costumes.  I know a lot of people did, but I thought all of those shorts worn by the ghosts were downright stupid, although the costumes still looked great from the waist up..  Not jarring, just not as good.  (I also thought Phyllis's costume was ugly...if it was a style way back when, I don't remember it...Phyllis was supposed to be rich and sophisticated...her outfit conveyed neither). 

-- The Buddy / Sally scenes seemed to benefit from filming...they did not seem so choppy or repetitious to me, although I still went to the bathroom halfway through Too Many Mornings, a number I have never liked.  

-- The cast was not as good as the production.  No-one really excelled to me, other than the actor who played Buddy and the actress who played Hattie.  Janie Dee was okay, which was a disappointment.  While I thought she was much better than I expected, I still think Staunton could have toned it down a little, despite my positive comments above.  The woman who played Solange was lousy in Ah! Paris!  If I did not know the lyrics by heart, I would have missed many of them.  This is one dimension that is probably hurt more than I realize by not seeing it live.  I thought Bennett did a good job with I'm Still Here (and I can imagine that she would be great with Boy, Can That Guy Foxtrot).

-- Beautiful Girls was not as good as I have seen it.  I do suspect that it is partially due to the fact that I was unfamiliar with most of the performers going into the show.  (Of course that was partially true with the original production, but that cast was much stronger overall).

So, maybe not a perfect production, but there has never been a perfect production of Follies, and probably never will be one, for two reasons: (1) While I do not think it is as bad I once did, I still think the book is just not good enough...and until it is seriously improved, it is always going to drag down the overall performance; and (2) there will likely always be budgetary constraints.

JBC3
#181FOLLIES- National Theatre Live
Posted: 6/3/18 at 8:47pm

Video of Tracie Bennett singing I'm Still Here at the Olivier Awards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1hJIJ4rog