IMDb > "Great Performances" Follies in Concert (1986)

"Great Performances" Follies in Concert (1986)

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James Goldman (libretto)
View company contact information for Follies in Concert on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
14 March 1986 (Season 14, Episode 10)
Film of the legendary 1985 concert performance presented by the New York Philharmonic of Stephen Sondheim's... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the great musicals as done in a fabulous TV documentary. See more (5 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)
Andre Gregory ... Dimitri Weismann
Arthur Rubin ... Roscoe

Barbara Cook ... Sally Durant Plummer

George Hearn ... Benjamin Stone
Jim Walton ... Young Buddy

Howard McGillin ... Young Ben

Mandy Patinkin ... Buddy Plummer

Lee Remick ... Phyllis Rogers Stone

Liz Callaway ... Young Sally
Daisy Prince ... Young Phyllis
Betty Comden ... Emily Whitman
Adolph Green ... Theordore Whitman
Liliane Montevecchi ... Solange Lafitte

Elaine Stritch ... Hattie Walker
Phyllis Newman ... Stella Deems

Carol Burnett ... Carlotta Campion
Licia Albanese ... Heidi Schiller
Erie Mills ... Young Heidi
Ronn Carroll ... Chorus
Susan Cella ... Chorus
Robert Henderson ... Chorus

Frank Kopyc ... Chorus
Marti Morris ... Chorus
Ted Sperling ... Chorus
Susan Terry ... Chorus
Sandra Wheeler ... Chorus
Karen E. Fraction ... Dancer (as Karen Fraction)
Jamie M. Pisano ... Dancer
Elvera Sciarra ... Dancer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Paul Gemignani ... Himself - Interviewee

Herbert Ross ... Himself - Interviewee

Roy Scheider ... Narrator
Thomas Z. Shepard ... Himself - Interviewee

Stephen Sondheim ... Himself - Interviewee

Episode Crew
Directed by
Michael Houldey 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
James Goldman  libretto

Produced by
Ellen M. Krass .... producer (as Ellen Krass)
Thomas Z. Shepard .... producer (as Thomas Z. Shepherd)
Sound Department
Rob James .... sound re-recording mixer
Music Department
Paul Gemignani .... musical director
Stephen Sondheim .... music and lyrics by
Other crew
Michael Bennett .... stage director
Danny Daniels .... choreographer
Harold Prince .... stage director
Harold Prince .... stage producer
Herbert Ross .... concert director

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

90 min

Did You Know?

The original Broadway production of "Follies" opened at the Winter Garden Theater in New York on April 4, 1971, ran for 522 performances and was nominated for the 1972 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Book and Score.See more »
Phyllis:Could I live through the pain on a terrace in Spain? Would it pass? It would pass! Could I bury my rage with a boy half your age in the grass? Bet your ass!See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Follies (????)See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
One of the great musicals as done in a fabulous TV documentary., 7 July 2002
Author: mark.waltz from United States

Stephen Sondheim's 1971 musical "Follies" was a long-running show which failed to win back its investment. It has been performed dozens of times all over the world, yet prior to this 1985 Lincoln Center Concert had never been completely recorded. While the concert does not fully tell the story of the original show, it did, for the first time, fully capture the glorious score on the recording. Broadway veterans Barbara Cook, Mandy Pantinkan, George Hearn, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Elaine Stritch were joined by film and TV stars Carol Burnett and Lee Remick (both of whom had stage experience as well) to give full life to the magic that is Sondheim.

They first take us behind the scenes in a rehearsal hall where we are introduced to the performers (also including Lilianne Montevecchi, Erie Mills, among others), then to the actual place where it will come alive in front of a sold-out audience. There are bits of the performer's real personalities coming out (particularly Elaine Stritch's) as the rehearsal moves onto opening night of the concert. Shots of Herbert Ross (the director) are interspersed with the music. The sequences of the concert are abbreviated for time, but most of the numbers (particularly Phyllis Newman's production number "Who's That Woman?") are fairly intact. No one can stop a show like Stritch can (as proved by her recent one-woman show), and she gets the largest round of applause with her entrance. Her performance of "Broadway Baby" (abbreviated here a bit, but heard completely on the concert recording and her own one-woman show CD) is equivalent in power to her earlier Sondheim showstopper "The Ladies Who Lunch" (from "Company"); If you saw her one-woman show (which I did), you get a glimpse of the delightfully eccentric and witty woman she naturally is. When she tells a joke about 90 somethings getting a divorce or makes a crack at Phyllis Newman, it simply becomes the type of theater stuff that legends are made of.

While there have been several recordings of "Follies" since this (the Paper Mill Playhouse recording includes songs cut before the 1971 production, plus some of this cast as well), this is one that will go down in legends. "Follies", as I have seen twice on stage, is a hard show to produce for several reasons. The 2001 Broadway Revival got mixed reviews for its lack of production design, but was filled with magnificent performances, while a recent Los Angeles All-Star cast could not do justice even with the many names among the cast. So with a movie version of the film not available (or likely to be done), this record of what the show is about is a more than average alternative.

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