I don't know if it's my all time favorite musical, but it might be. FOLLIES by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim is a legendary work from 1971. At the time, the most expensive musical ever mounted. It was a reunion of showgirls from the FOLLIES that took place in the theater where they used to perform -- the theater that was being torn down.
Sondheim's score, a blend of modern music and pastiche can't really be described in the breathtaking way he makes all the lyrics sound like they belonged to the "olden days," but which comment fully on the action taking place in the present. And each song stands on its own as a fully realized SONG. My favorite kind of score.
Last night, we attended a concert staging for the Encore! series here in New York and the audience was packed with celebrities. The cast was more than brilliant. Donna Murphy, Victoria Clark, Victor Garber... all of them magnificent. Naturally, I had my camera in hand for the party afterwards, which we were lucky enough to be invited to.
Jim with Victoria Clark:Both of us with JoAnne Worley:
Bernadette Peters on the stairway backstage:
Mimi Hines, who sang "Broadway Baby":
Lucine Amara, the opera star who sang "One More Kiss":
Crazy, wonderful Bob Fitch ("Rain On The Roof"):
The great Barbara Cook:
Jim tells Stephen Sondheim about THE BIG VOICE:
Christine Baranski ("I'm Still Here"):
Matt Cavanaugh from Grey Gardens (he's an Arkansas boy):
Donna Murphy and Victoria Clark:
Jim with Anne Rogers:
I also shot some video. I'll be editing that soon!