There’s so much to praise in the blissful Broadway revival of “Follies,” which opened Wednesday at the Ahmanson Theatre on the heels of its numerous Tony nominations, but let’s pay homage first to the sheer sophistication of the show itself. After experiencing “Follies” again — an adult entertainment if ever there was one — I flat-out refuse to accept any more jukebox substitutes.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
“Follies” is that rare Broadway transfer that has traveled well from its recent Gotham stint, and the reason is simple: Victoria Clark replaces the miscast and vocally compromised Bernadette Peters. Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece about a showbiz reunion and two marriages gone bad now works on all four cylinders, Clark being joined by the deservedly Tony-nommed Jan Maxwell, Ron Raines and Danny Burstein. To indulge in cliches, hearing Clark sing “In Buddy’s Eyes,” “Losing My Mind” and “Too Many Mornings” is worth the price of admission.
Robert Hofler – Variety
There are great musicals, and there are great musicals—and then there is “Follies.” Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s epochal 1971 lament for the declining American dream—by way of American musical theater via a reunion of ex-showgirls in a condemned theater—has reached near-mythological status since its iconic original production. And for good reason, as this glorious revival makes unforgettably clear, courtesy of director Eric Schaeffer, a splendid design roster, and a marvelous cast.
David C. Nichols – Backstage
Now at the Ahmanson for a six-week run, after a triumphant six months on Broadway, the acclaimed Kennedy Center production of Follies is richly enchanting down to the smallest feather.
Don Grigware – Grigware Blogspot
Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” is fantastic, fabulous and fun!
Audrey Linden – LA Examiner
A terrific production of Follies is currently on display at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings
F. Scott Fitzgerald said “there are no second acts in American life.” Though we could debate that, there are still second acts capable of redeeming virtues. Fortunately, director Eric Schaeffer’s over two-and-a-half-hour resurrection of “Follies” is blessed with an inspired Act II.
Karen Weinstein – Culture Vulture
Follies is a show for adults. Anyone who has ever lived, loved, hoped and settled will be moved by its artful juxtaposition of youthful optimism and midlife regret.
Christopher Cappiello – Frontiers
A majestic, star-studded production dazzled the stage of the Ahmanson theatre last night.
Michelle Clay – LASplash
A triumph in all departments, Follieshas hit L.A. with the overwhelming force of a tsunami.
Willard Manus – Total Theater
Follies is a pitch-perfect production of an imperfect show, but it offers a unique opportunity for Angelenos to see some of the most talented women of the Great White Way.
Laura Hertzfeld – Entertainment Weekly
In the Kennedy Center’s rapturously haunting production of Follies, directed by Eric Schaeffer, the Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman musical makes a triumphant transfer from Broadway to the Ahmanson Theatre.
Sarah Taylor Ellis – LA Weekly
One of my many rewards for that choice was being able to see and hear Ron Raines perform “The Road You Didn’t Take” on opening night at the Ahmanson last week. He’s magnificent, as is just about everything else about this Follies. If you’re of a certain age, or even if you expect to reach a certain age, I suggest that seeing this Follies is a road you should take.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch
With never a false step from its huge cast, this Follies shows its perennial flair.
Laura Hitchcock – CurtainUp
Everything is there: the compelling music, the emotionally charged book, the chance to experience show-stopper after show-stopper. This is what serious musicals in the modern era can be, but rarely are.
Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review
But the real problem with Follies in Los Angeles – and most who see it will not share this experience – was the opening night audience. Their eagerness to adore every moment of the show seemed to act like an aphrodisiac for the actors; and they, in turn, responded by turning each number into an extended orgasm.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema
But alas, what the show possesses in beautiful design elements does not make up for the utterly confounding, yet hallowed nature of the show. While watching the show, I felt guilty for not enjoying it. It seemed everyone else in the theater adored it (as evidenced by the lengthy entrance applause for what seemed like half the cast and the resounding standing ovation), but I just didn’t get it. I wanted to like it and understand it, but there was either too much or too little going on at any given moment for me to feel truly invested in the story.
Katie Buenneke – Neon Tommy
All that aside, was this production worth the wait, and should you go see it? God, yes – and be quick about it! This is like the Ring – you don’t get many chances to see “Follies” in a lifetime, and this stunning production is rife with Tony-nominated performances, lush sets and costumes, and Eric Schaffer’s thoughtful, intelligent direction.
Trevor Thomas – EdgeLosAngeles
The spectacle is a feast for the eyes and no diamond is left unturned in its quest for opulence while indulging in roads not taken in our youth.
Dan Johnson – Cinesnatch
Los Angeles Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., L.A.
8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
(Call for exceptions.) Ends June 9, 2012
Tickets: $20 to $150; (213) 972-4400
Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.