“Follies” Opens On B’way: My Review

The Kennedy Center production of Sondheim and Goldman’s “Follies” has opened on Broadway. (Barry Manilow led the parade of stars for the big night.) When it played Washington, D.C. earlier this year I reviewed it for the Financial Times. Having seen the show again in New York, I’ll stick with the substance of my original review, except to say that Bernadette Peters (pictured with Ron Raines), to whom I gave the benefit of the doubt in hoping she would find her way into the role of Sally, now seems to me slightly miscast. The night I attended on Broadway, she was having vocal difficulty, but she trouped through the performance, and I salute her for that. Of the cast members new to New York, I especially liked — I always like! — Jayne Houdyshell. Her “Broadway Baby” number brought the underwhelming first act to life. What is most notable about this production is that the second-act pastiche numbers, which I generally find slightly numbing, were superb. All in all, an evening worth seeing, though musically not as affecting as the 1985 concert CD with Barbara Cook.

Leave a Comment