Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘Follies’ was my first Broadway show. 50 years later, I remember it all.

That excitement was accompanied by a thrill of illegal betrayal. Yes, “Fully” was a spontaneous staging of a large Broadway musical that will be performed with pomp today. But this story of two unhappy couples, chased by the ghosts of their little cells during a showbiz reunion in the ruins of a one-time theater, was telling me that the musical comedies that were promised were false.

In a cover story revealed a month later – pictures of it would adorn my bedroom walls, along with posters by Humphrey Bogart and Vanessa Redgrave, until I left for college – Time magazine enthusiastically (and accurately) ) Described “Follies” as anti-apathetic. , A modern corrective for cheers, such as the escapist camp of Hit Revival “No, no Nenet.”

The assessment of the time was contrary to critics of the New York Times Clive barnes And Walter Kerr, Who did not like “Follies” at all. The plot on which he wrote was Hackney and Formula. For the songs, Barnes called them “Nafé’s non-hit parade”, with his homage to genres of the showbiz past.

I couldn’t disagree about James Goldman’s book, which I felt like a best-seller release about a middle-aged dissident borrowing from his parents. (I already suspected that my future was under criticism.) But the songs were sticking with me, as well as images of aging performances with piercing spotting. And I had a vague sense that I would be ready to miss this weird and majestic show, “to borrow from its script that plays and plays like a movie in my head.”

In some ways, “Foolie” was a perfect match for my teenage self. My parents always encouraged me to understand that old people did not always grow old, to look for layers of what they were. (I was fascinated by the culture of my grandparents’ generation, which meant that references to Brenda Frazier and “Abby’s Irish Rose” were not over my head.)

And the part that impressed me so much about music was the contrast between their exaggerated forms and the often normal lives they portrayed. (I would restore the classic music in my head with my friends and family in the lead role, it made me cry with joy.)

What I didn’t get back then – and couldn’t as a teenager – was how the music was so good of memory. It was the cleverness of Sondih’s songs that attracted me in my youth. I loved his refined verses quotes.

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