Stephen Sondheim has been called the Shakespeare of musical theatre and Follies is one of his most hauntingly beautiful creations. It’s the story of a group of showgirls and their backstage beaus, meeting 30 years after their glamorous glory days in a New York musical revue (think Ziegfeld). The theatre that enshrined their youth is about to be demolished and they all meet once more to relive those glittering days between the world wars and to reassess the choices they made.
As their younger selves join them on stage one last time, the old gang reconnects - performing a few of their old numbers and singing heartbreaking songs of regret and resignation.
Starring Imelda Staunton, fresh from her triumph in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett, with standout supporting turns by Philip Quast and Peter Forbes, Follies is classic Sondheim, though not as often produced as Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Company, Into the Woods or Sunday in the Park with George.