Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Dorothy Collins, Alexis Smith|
Follies (Highlights from the 1971 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
The scene: an abandoned theater, where a group of performers--alumni from the fictional musical revue The Weismann Follies--is holding a reunion shortly before the building is to be turned to rubble. The long-retired playe... more »
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Amazon.com essential recording
The scene: an abandoned theater, where a group of performers--alumni from the fictional musical revue The Weismann Follies--is holding a reunion shortly before the building is to be turned to rubble. The long-retired players relive their careers through Stephen Sondheim's brilliant pastiches of past songwriters, sometimes accompanied in song or dance by the ghosts of their previous selves. At the same time, four of the people (two married couples) are remembering their pasts and wondering whether they chose their spouses--and the course of their lives--correctly. The 1971 original cast of Follies included many former Broadway and Hollywood stars--Dorothy Collins, Gene Nelson, Alexis Smith, Mary McCarty--and the pedigree and sheer size of the cast kept the show from profitability despite a decent run (and also keep it from being frequently revived). This recording of Stephen Sondheim's legendary show has become something of a legend itself. The score included 22 songs, but because the cost of recording a two-LP set was considered prohibitive, a number of songs were omitted and others were abridged. As a result, this too-brief 58 minutes can't be considered the final statement on Follies (for more music, try the uneven but sometimes electric 1985 concert recording or the 1998 New Jersey revival), but listen to Yvonne DeCarlo sing the anthem "I'm Still Here" or Collins sing the heartbreaking "Losing My Mind" and you'll know that the original cast had a special magic that has yet to be surpassed. --David Horiuchi
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Brief but fine recording of Sondheim's most accessible score
Simon Cross | RUSTINGTON, West Sussex. United Kingdom | 05/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I admit it. I love Follies, and have three recordings of it - this original Broadway recording, the single CD version of the 1987 London recording, and the double CD New Jersey 1998 recording. This latter recording is possibly the finest, being the most complete, and also including some extra tracks. However, it seems to be no longer available from amazon.com.So to the recording at hand. The original cast, and to an extent then, the definitive recording. Well, it would be if there were more of the music on here, but what there is just happens to be pure class. Alexis Smith and Dorothy Collins give up great performances as the two leading Follies girls. They are ably supported by their husbands, Gene Nelson and John McMartin. Standing above the rest of the supporting cast is Yvonne de Carlo (best remembered as Lily Munster) with the song written especially for her, I'm Still Here. She sings it surprisingly pacily compared to the other available recordings that I know of. As the intended artist, we must assume that this is the definitive reading.The other Follies ladies all give good performances, but as has been said by other reviewers, this cast recording is sadly incomplete.Well, OK, so what if it is? As an introduction to this great work, full of rich pastiche numbers, clever lyrics, and towards the end the heartbreaking Losing My Mind, this is a good place to start.... If you cannot find the 1998 New Jersey recording, then this is the next best thing."
SIMPLY THE BEST!
Boz | 01/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I know that it is truncated. I know that it is not digital. But it is the version with Sondheim's original cast, and the cohesiveness and unity of the original cannot be matched. Although I also love "Follies in Concert", it is disjointed and some of the performers do not compare favorably with the originals (with the exception of Stritch's "Broadway Baby"-that is brilliant!)Ultimately the concert version fails, but the original cast album satisfies in every way. I know to some that this statement is heresy, but I must express my true feelings."
Five Stars for What There IS of the Performance!
Simon Cross | 06/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like watching Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" -- another masterpiece truncated in the name of crass commercialism -- one cannot but feel regret that the unbutchered version will never be experienced. Many later versions have been recorded, with the full score -- but they all have the feeling of what they in essence were -- concert performances by disparate performers. This original cast gives the definitive performance of every number Capitol deigned to include: and butchered though the form of the score may be, none of the later, fuller recordings captures the complexity, regret, lushness and sarcasm that this does. All things considered, I have several of the recordings, but the others are more "archival" -- I turn to THIS recording, still, when I want to experience this brilliant musical. And as another reviewer has aptly noted, this version, much more than later ones, bears repeated hearings. In fact they make you love it all the more. So -- yes -- flaws and all -- FIVE STARS!"