National Theatre of London performance offered at Sierra Cinemas
Special to The Union
The National Theatre of London’s performance of “Follies!” is scheduled to be shown at Sierra Cinemas on Wednesday.
The event is set for 3:30 p.m. at the movie theaters at 840 East Main St. in Grass Valley.
Set in New York in 1971, there’s a reunion on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished, replaced by yet another Manhattan office building. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies’ “girls” (based on Ziegfield’s Follies) gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. This National Theatre Live musical by Stephen Sondheim with book by James Goldman, directed by Dominic Cooke, has a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21.
Cooke’s take on this now-classic piece which opened in 1971, suggests that every character in the show is haunted by the ghosts of their pasts; in the background of the action or of the song, we see dimly-lit richly-costumed incarnations of their younger selves. The dramatic core of the piece involves two couples whose shared histories are also haunted by their youthful idealism and expectations in love — now soured by the realities of middle-age and tired relationships.
At under three hours without an intermission, the pace of the show is relentless. The musical numbers in the show (23 of them, many which have become familiar to those Sondheim freaks) have been interpreted as pastiches, imitating the styles of leading Broadway composers of the 1920s and ‘30s. The songs move the storyline beautifully. And the dancing is astounding, particularly by the graceful older troupe who strut their chops and, in the process, cause a few audience jaws to drop.
Sandra Rockman is a local theatre director and acting and Improvisation teacher. She can be reached on FB or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for upcoming classes. John Deaderick is a local theatre artist, acting teacher, and the author of “Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis” available at Amazon.com.
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