Too often, it seems, I read about some amazing show that I'd love to see, starring great performers who deliver stunning performances, and then time passes, circumstances intervene, and I don't get to see it. Tonight was not one of those times. I had the tickets to one of just six performances of Sondheim's Follies at City Center. The glowing reviews came in. And then I got to see it. And it was lovely and goosebump-inducing at all the right moments. What a treat to see Victor Garber, Victoria Clark and Donna Murphy sharing the same stage. And the audience -- clearly filled with some major theater fans -- absolutely loved it, applauding like mad after almost every song. The standing ovation at the end, for a change, felt like the most natural thing in the world and totally earned.
[For a bit o' fun looking-back, check out Frank Rich's 1985 review of the similarly staged concert performance of Follies starring Barbara Cook, Carol Burnett, Lee Remick, Elaine Stritch and Mandy Patinkin. The making-of video from that version was my introduction to the musical, but it was much more satisfying to see it all the way through instead of cut and spliced docu-style. It's fascinating to read of what a flop it was, and yet what a treat it was destined to become.]