COMPANY has had its libretto re-tailored at least twice to fit today’s thirty-somethings yet Bobby remains a rudderless Everyman no matter how many clever lines are grafted onto him. The evening’s tone has also changed: before, the institution of marriage remained intact despite its flawed participants --- now, the five couples drift as much as Bobby does (nor have COMPANY’s women morphed into working moms: they remain housewives).
In the meantime, FOLLIES has been scaled down for smaller theatres with its Act One ladies doing overtime in Act Two’s “Loveland” sequence, and a minimal mise-en-scène can still make it all work provided that “Loveland” and its four Follies-turns are reasonably lush in contrast. Thrice have I seen a stripped-down FOLLIES: Overture Productions’ concert (2003), the Barrington Theatre’s production (2005) and, now, at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston which employs a number of the Overture artists. None of them capture(d) the original --- but, then, how could they? --- and the clueless might assume that the Follies themselves was but a fancy-dress cabaret; still, a stripped-down FOLLIES is better than no FOLLIES...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sondheim X 2
Carl Rossi at Larry Stark's Theatermirror, contemplates seeing Sondheim's Company and Follies, back-to-back, here in Boston: