Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dvd/150: FOLLIES IN CONCERT (Michael Houldey, 1986, tv)

Originally shown on the BBC's Omnibus, this documentary covers the lead-up to two concert performances of Stephen Sondheim's musical FOLLIES at New York's Lincoln Center with the Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sondheim and record producer Thomas Z. Shepherd were unhappy that the 1971 cast recording of FOLLIES was severely edited to fit on one album so in 1985 they had the opportunity to record two semi-staged concert performances of the full score.

It stars Lee Remick, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin and George Hearn with remarkable supporting performances from Elaine Stritch, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Newman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Liliane Montevecchi, André Gregory and Licia Albanese among others.

We see them nervously rehearsing quickly-learnt songs in the few days leading up to the concerts and sharing their thoughts on the resonance of the material as they are all contemporaries.

A touching, entertaining tribute to the show and it's cast.

Shelf or charity shop? You're kidding right?

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