Story reveals the falsity of the characters’ dreams

Published in the September 27 – October 10, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Photo by Chris Foster
Actors, from left, Lindsay Sommers, Rebecca Reynolds, Paetra Rottman and Krista Warner, in their “Follies” costumes.

South Valley Civic Theatre brings to the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse a glittering version of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved Broadway musical “Follies” with 36 actors under the direction of Megan Griffin and 13 musicians under the baton of Alan Chipman. The show takes a breath-taking sweep that immerses the audience into nostalgia to the ultimate degree.

The story brings together a reunion of the aging former showgirls who once performed together as a part of Broadway’s glamorous Weismann’s Follies, based on The Ziegfeld Follies of that time. They gather in a dilapidated theater for a last hurrah where they experienced their youth and loves 30 years earlier. It’s the last night for the theater, which is going to be torn down to make room for a parking lot.

The older women relive their past as the young, gloriously-costumed ghosts of their youth follow them through their reliving their glory days. Two couples, Sally and Ben and Phyllis and Buddy, are focused on where they were 30 years ago and where they are today and what they desire to be at this time of their lives. They are haunted by their past lives with middle-aged disenchantment and must make decisions of where they want to go in this present time.

Sondheim’s enchanting songs from “Follies” have become standards. They include “Broadway Baby,” “I’m Still Here,” “Losing My Mind,” ‘Too Many Mornings,” and “Could I leave You?

This cast and director are dedicated to bringing this sweet and sad show a 110 percent effort in performing. The number where the older gals and their young ghosts redo a production they did in the old days captivated the audience the opening weekend.

If there is an award for costumes, Michelle Griffin and Adrianne Wilkinson should be without a doubt the recipients. Their elaborate and glittering gowns and head pieces are amazing and first-rate in craftsmanship.

Follies opened on Broadway April 4, 1971. The original show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. It won seven. SVCT’s “Follies” will provide local audiences with a distinctive musical that warns all to tread carefully into the past.

Camille Bounds

Camille Bounds

Theater Columnist at Morgan Hill Life
Camille Bounds is the theater columnist for the Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. She has performed on Broadway and traveled around the world.
Camille Bounds