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Especially when fused with regret, memories usually come with a soft gauze, faded but nagging. That quality infuses the Kennedy Center revival of this justly loved 1971 musical by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim. Eric Schaeffer forged a gorgeous visual production wherein atrophied old showgirls and their onetime stage-door Johnnies wandered like ghosts through life's more painful second act. This was a production that shrewdly opened up the show's macro themes: the sense that the old American dreams are, for many, being torn down. But the show also exquisitely captured the back-and-forth pulls of resilient defiance and nostalgic submission in so many of our lives. The show's men, brilliantly played by Danny Burstein and Ron Raines, smoldered with the toxic mix of regret, achievement, arrogance and obliviousness so characteristic of the middle-aged male.
Copyright © 2009, The Chicago Tribune
Dec. 12, 2011
Through Jan. 22 at the Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway; 877-250-2929 or folliesbroadway.com (Moves to Los Angeles in 2012)