REGIONAL ROUNDUP: FOLLIES IN PHEONIX, ARIZONA
Big budget musicals are certainly not limited to the Broadway stage, or even to New York City. And right now, Phoenix has one of the biggest and the brightest shows around – one that is dazzling audiences and wowing critics.
Theater Works in Phoenix, Arizona is currently running the Arizona premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, which The New York Times calls “one of the greatest musicals ever written”. Follies is a theatrical event which has attracted some of the finest talent in the country. It opened on the Gyder Stage at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts on February 20, 2015.
The music and lyrics of the dazzling Follies score are by Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim is the winner of the most Tony Awards of any composer/lyricist (eight so far), the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Sooner or Later), eight Grammy Awards and many more.
The book is by Academy Award winner James Goldman, also known for The Lion in Winter.
This production of Follies is directed by Phoenix native Phillip Fazio. Last season, Fazio directed Theater Works’ smash hit production of Ragtime and is known for his work on the Off-Broadway run of Gay Camp in New York City.
The talented cast of Follies features Broadway veterans Kelli James Chase as Carlotta Campion and Patti Davis Suarez as Hattie Walker. Kelli James Chase was in the original Broadway cast of Les Miserables and became the first replacement in the role of Eponine.
On its surface, Follies is about a reunion of retired performers. They have come together to meet one last time in a crumbling theater on the night before it is to be torn down. On closer examination, Follies is a surreal, heart-wrenching examination of life, theater and the great mystery of “the road you didn’t take.” The Follies score is considered by some to be Stephen Sondheim’s greatest masterpiece, overflowing with such classic songs as “Losing My Mind,” “I’m Still Here,” “Too Many Mornings” and “Broadway Baby.”
Follies runs through March 15, 2015 at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, Peoria AZ. So if you find yourself in Phoenix, grab your Follies ticket now.