NT Live’s ‘Follies’ on screen at Orcas Center

  • Mon Jan 8th, 2018 1:28pm
  • Life

The National Theatre production of Follies, broadcast live to the Orcas Center screen on Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. Stephen Sondheim, the writer of many famous musicals, creates the rarely-performed musical Follies. Calling all musical film lovers – if you love “Moulin Rouge,” “Cabaret” or “Chicago” — Dominic Cooke’s towering revival of Follies is not to be missed! This musical is an eloquent work about age and disappointment, about the heartbreaking clash between the fires of youth and the pragmatism of late middle age; it perfectly fuses splendor and poetic sadness.

Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. Set in New York, 1971 there’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Directed by Dominic Cooke (“The Comedy of Errors”) the show features a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21. Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Staunton gives a stunning lead performance, most recently seen in NT Live’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

“A perfect, devastating evocation of the pain of looking back,” said Time Out. “Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee are perfect leads for this huge, stunning Sondheim revival.”

The show is beautifully staged and captures the glamour of the golden age of music halls and revues, with gorgeous showgirl costumes bedazzled with Swarovski crystals. “One listens in wonder. The score is so rich that no sooner has a certain number registered as a favorite, another comes along to supersede it,” said the New York Times. “It’s a case of knockout after knockout,” said the Independent. “The hairs on the back of my neck were begging for mercy for they got barely a moment’s peace, what with the thrilling sound of the orchestra, under Nigel Lilley’s fantastic musical direction, and the tightly drilled choreography of Bill Deamer.” The critics agree that the overall production is stunning with an extraordinary cast. Sunday Times raves that Follies is triumphant. “Produces tears, cackles and goosebumps, sometimes all together.” This bittersweet musical is still a sensation and is not to be missed!

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students, $2 off for Orcas Center members, and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling (360)376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center box office open Tuesdays through Fridays from 12-3 p.m. Five dollar subsidized tickets available at the box office. For more information about Orcas Center’s 2016-2017 season visit www.orcascenter.org.