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Publication Date

Summer 1975






Music Theatre


Theatre and Performance Studies


Director's Notes

"Once more, with feeling ."

Thus Otis Guernsey , compiler of theatre annuals, in citing FOLLIES as Best Musical of the 1970-71 season, made the inevitable comparison between tonight's show and the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth Tony winner which had preceded it a season earlier. COMPANY, according to Guernsey, had been brilliantly "cool;" FOLLIES was passionately "warm."

Certainly the extraordinary critical bouquets tossed to this most ambitious of American musical plays were not prompted by the soft-headedness which has too often passed for "warmth" in the musical theatre. But despite the keenness of the show's daring double-edged thrust into nostalgia, FOLLIES is informed by a genuine strain of fondness for "show-biz" itself and for the special constructive and indispensable foolishness of its people.

In accepting the challenge of this unique enterprise - a Philadelphia premiere - I can single out no more important hope for the show than that its most striking effects not be exclusively alienating ones. In placing upon our relatively intimate Music Theatre stage the clearest possible picture of the shifting and contrasting conflicts in James Goldman's literate and perceptive book, in sculpting the shape of the drama away from the accessory delights of its recreated glitter and opulence, I hope that the show's values of mature love and recollected dignity may be seen to outlast the self-indulgent abrasions generated by the volatile "show-biz" reunion which is its setting.

This epic-scale work about the long lost popular theatre raises disquieting specters and unsettling questions concerning the indisputable realities of past and contemporary American life. But it retains an enormous, embracing affection for its subject. That its honest heart will shine through for all of you this evening is my most fervent wish.

''Once more, with feeling."

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