“Follies” bid farewell to the Ahmanson Theatre on Saturday night, and the emotion in the house was as charged as the emotion coursing through the Weismann Theatre, where the ex-Follies girls have gathered with their significant others, old dreams, lingering disappointments and faltering hopes.
Jubilation, nostalgia and, yes , the ache of anticipated loss — the complex rush of feelings was in complete sync with James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s 1971 classic. It was a fitting ending here for a revival that began at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
Several company members were whisked after Saturday night’s performance on a private plane to New York, so they could be at the ceremony. Jet lag surely won’t stop Danny Burstein from delivering a fired-up rendition of “Buddy’s Folly,” which he’s performing on Sunday’s
Burstein was in top form Saturday night, and he has a decent shot to win the award for lead actor in a musical, though he’ll have to hold off his suave costar Ron Raines, as well as stiff competition from Jeremy Jordan from "
Critics usually attend openings, not final performances, but I wouldn’t have missed my last chance to savor
Jan Maxwell was as stringently sublime as ever as Phyllis. In any rational universe, she’d be a shoo-in for the Tony for lead actress in a musical. However, this is a world that contains the outlandish greatness of
What a treat to experience once again Jayne Houdyshell’s peppery version of “Broadway Baby” and
But the most thrilling — and unexpectedly moving — moment was Terri White as Stella rounding up the ladies for “Who’s That Woman?" and the big mirror number. The explosive reaction of the audience to this sensational Act 1 crowd-pleaser, enlivened by Warren Carlyle's choreographic jeu d’esprit, brought White (and many of us in the audience) to tears.
Actors aren’t supposed to break character, but “Follies” is a work that blurs the line between life and the stage, and the emotion pouring out of White was in perfect harmony with a show that more profoundly than any other musical illuminates the mournful theatrical beauty of time passing.