Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Follies" Tickets Now On Sale at Chicago Shakes

The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones broke the news a few days ago that casting had been announced for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's much-anticipated production of "Follies,"the legendary musical about a reunion of showgirls (a la Ziegfeld) at the soon-to-be-demolished theater where they all once performed. Stephen Sondheim's score and James Goldman's book are nostalgic, funny, sad and lovely, all at once.

It doesn't get better than "Losing My Mind," middle-aged Sally Durant's torch song for the love she has never been able to get over, "Broadway Baby," whose lyrics gave my blog its name, "I'm Still Here," the showbiz survival anthem, the sensational "Who's That Woman?" perhaps better known as the Mirror Dance, or "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Love Will See Us Through" the quartet wherein the young counterparts of the four main characters (Sally, her husband Buddy, her old best friend, Phyllis, and Ben, Sally's lost love, who married Phyllis) sing cheerfully (and cynically) about what they see ahead for themselves.

Gary Griffin, who has been interpreting Sondheim at Chicago Shakes for the past ten years, with fabulous work on "Pacific Overtures" and "Sunday in the Park with George," will direct a cast including Broadway veterans Brent Barrett and Robert Petkoff as as Ben and Buddy; Susan Moniz, who has called Chicago her home for over 20 years and been nominated for more Jeff Awards than you can shake a stick at, as Sally; and British-Australian actress, singer and dancer Caroline O'Connor, who has played both Broadway and London's West End, as Phyllis. Chicago favorites Mike Nussbaum, Hollis Resnick anrd Marilynn Bogetich will play Dmitri Weismann, the Ziegfeldian character, Carlotta, who belts out "I'm Still Here," and Hattie, the Broadway Baby, respectively. You can check out the whole cast here.

Even better news than the casting, however, is that tickets are now available, as well. Click here to read more about the show and pick your dates.

"Follies" opens at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on October 4 and runs through November 6. That's not a whole lot of performances, so you are well-advised to get your tickets now, before they sell out. "Follies" is a favorite of a lot of people, me included. So don't wait. Get over to Chicago Shakes now and order those tickets!


  1. To those of us who love it like Julie and I do, "Follies" is sort of the ultimate musical -- a musical about musicals, that becomes most emotional when it's channeling (as fantasy or flashback) the style and sound of the 1930s or 40s.

    And now that we have Sondheim's annotated collection of his lyrics, "Finishing the Hat," we can know exactly which styles he was doing for each song. For instance, the first song Julie mentioned, "Losing My Mind," evokes Gershwin; "I'm Still Here" is a long jazzy Harold Arlen-type song (think "Blues in the Night").

    "Follies" is just addictive. There's nothing else like it.

  2. I'm trying to figure out how to get to NY to see the one that's transferring from DC. Bernadette Peters is such perfect casting as Sally and Danny Burstein and Ron Raines are pretty spot-on, as well.

    A wealth of Follies!