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:
Essential for Sondheim devotees - but alas not definitive 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
Series Cast
These people are regular cast members. Were they in this episode?
Fred Rose
Barbara Walsh

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Directed by
John Doyle 
John Glenmeister (episode "Man Who Married a French Wife, the")
Nick Havinga (episode "Girls in Their Summer Dresses") (episode "Monument, The")
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Marion J. Caffey  creator
Daniel Ezralow  creator
Josh Groban  creator

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 »
Carlotta Campion:I've gotten through "Hey, lady, aren't you whoozis? Wow! What a looker you were!" Or, better yet, "Sorry, I thought you were whoozis. Whatever happened to her?"See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Follies (????)See more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Essential for Sondheim devotees - but alas not definitive, 22 June 2004

"Follies" is Sondheim at the very peak of his songwriting prowess. It's a virtuoso turn with a series of pastiche songs relating to musical theater numbers in a variety of styles. His later works became less reliant on individual songs moving towards an operatic style, which he achieved so beautifully in both "Sweeney Todd" and "Passion". Song for song, you would be hard pressed to come up with a musical as impeccably written as "Follies".

It's a great shame that there is no existing video, or even complete recording of the original Broadway production. It's one of those magical occurrences where it call comes together. There certainly have been bigger stars than Alexis Smith, Dorothy Collins or Yvonne de Carlo and yet the performances of the 1971 production, almost inexplicably, remain distinctly definitive.

From the start "Follies in Concert" was intended by all concerned to become the definitive "Follies", with an all star cast backed by no less than the New York Philharmonic. This was in fact the motivating factor for the event being staged at all. The concert was most certainly a terrific theatrical event. The stars did not disappoint and the orchestra sounded great. But despite this, it widely failed in its quest to become the definitive version. Once again, this is not easily explained. There simply wasn't the legendary magic with which the original production was blessed. You cannot make magic in the theater by employing the very best; it either happens or it doesn't.

The documentary section of this film is of great interest. The musical theater stars such as Barbara Cook, Elaine Stritch, Phylis Newman as well as film stars Lee Remick and Carol Burnett all come across with a rarely seen naturalness. It's as if they are truly humbled by the material itself.

The performance segments are too short for my liking. It's a treat watching these professionals at work, singing such glorious music.

But when all is said and done, this is no match all for the much loved 1971 Original Broadway production.

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See more (5 total) »

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