Nostalgia reigns supreme when a bevy of chorus girls slip into their costumes and show business finery for one last romp of former glory. The stage of their greatest triumphs, the Weismann Theatre, is about to be closed forever, and these ladies want to come together to celebrate what once was. Every year between World Wars I and II, they flamboyantly made their mark tredding the boards. Now, with only a skeleton of past successes, mere planks and scaffolding, they have returned to the Weismann to conjure up memories and bid a reluctant farewell to the past.
Come to the Warner Theatre in Torrington for “Follies” by Stephen Sondheim for music and lyrics and James Goldman for book from Saturday, May 6 to Sunday, May 14, weekends, presented by the Warner Stage Company.
On one level, “Follies” is a simple and heartbreaking attempt to recapture the past and make it live again. On another level, it’s a metaphor for a nation’s loss of innocence after the assassination of President Kennedy when our rose colored glasses were shattered without warning. It’s 1971 and theatrical impresario Dimitri Weismann (James Wood) is having a reunion of ex-showgirls as a final farewell to end the era. Tunes like “Losing My Mind,” “I’m Still Here,” “Too Many Mornings,” “Could I Leave You?,” and “Broadway Baby” fill the rafters of this now crumbling edifice. The memories are not all sweet ones as two couples Buddy and Sally Durant Plummer and Benjamin and Phyllis Rogers Stone can attest. When they all meet again, old feelings are rekindled and current entanglements are revealed.
At poignant points in the show, the younger versions of the showgirls appear as ghosts of their former selves. This show was inspired by the true account of former Ziegfeld showgirls gathering for a reunion. Michael Berkeley directs this nostalgic look back in time, with Willard C. Minton as musical director.
The cast of Follies also includes Juliette Koch, Cole Sutton, Eric Lindblom, Becky Sawicki, Kelsey Morris, Amber Cameron, Dave Cadwell, Katie Kat, Shannon Leigh Sullivan, Payton Turpin, Amy LeBlanc, Christopher Gilbert, Suzanne Powers, Wendy Aronson Traub Bill Molnar, Darcy Boynton, Eve Van Syckle, Hope Murphy, Elyse Jasensky, Susan Mieras, and Josh Shakeshaft.
For tickets ($19-27),call Warner Theatre, 68 Main Street, Torrington at 860-489-7180 or online at www.warnertheatre.org.
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Come see what has been called the greatest musical of all time and follow the steps and stories of the past and the present to uncover the truth.