Monday, January 23, 2012

Farewell to Follies

Last night New York said goodbye to the Kennedy Center's production of Follies.  For shows I really like, I enjoy going to the closing performance.  Sometimes you get the added bonus of cast speeches when the curtain comes down.  Understudies who have never gone on get to join the bow.  Stage managers get recognition from the cast.  The big fans of the show will be there and are often openly enthusiastic. It can feel a bit more like a party if it has been a good run or a bittersweet goodbye to something leaving the Great White Way too soon. 

Last night was no exception.  Every entrance was met with generous applause.  After the big cast tap number of "Who's That Woman" the audience burst into a standing ovation.  Although I find New York audiences tend to overdo the standing O, I thought in this instance it was called for.  It's an athletic number and these performers have worked incredibly hard to make it work. Terri White got teary and called the ladies in the number in for an extra group hug.  

Elaine Paige got a few standing fans after her I'm Still Here number.  

Bernadette Peters did the honors for a cast speech at the end of the show.  She gave thanks to Sondheim, the late James Goldman, the Kennedy Center producer Michael Kaiser, Jonathan Tunick and the show's director Eric Schaeffer.  She thanked New York for embracing the show.  

For those seeing the show for the first time last night (and there were some and they were really confused), the audience explosions of cheers, applause and "bravas," might have been unexpected and distracting.  But for those who were fans of the show, the cast and Sondheim, it was a celebratory send off as the show heads West to Los Angeles. 

Stage Door Madness

1 comment:

  1. There was a couple in the front row of the mezz who gave every number a standing O. Ordinarily I would have been cocking my shotgun, but in this case it was adorbz. Still bitter Houdyshell stood us up at the stage door.