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re: Were the general audiences of the original production of FOLLIES expecting something totally different?
Last Edit: EvFoDr 03:24 pm EDT 09/20/21
Posted by: EvFoDr 03:22 pm EDT 09/20/21
In reply to: Were the general audiences of the original production of FOLLIES expecting something totally different? - pecansforall 02:20 pm EDT 09/20/21

People who were around will hopefully share more anecdotes, but from a logical perspective it feels unlikely to me that audiences expected an extravagant Follies. Any theatre listing or plot summary goes something like "a reunion of former showgirls returning to see their theatre one last time before it comes down". I am sure "ghosts from the past" was also mentioned in some of these things. The poster, with the cracked face, gives you a clue, although granted this is more subtle. Assuming there was B-Roll promotional footage, and assuming the creative team didn't want to ruin the surprise of Loveland, one imagines the B-Roll did not depict opulence, fancy costumes, etc. Anyone who saw the show after the reviews came out---which is most people who saw the show--would know it wasn't a traditional Follies presentation. Anyone who knew anything about Sondheim and Prince after their Company breakthrough would likely surmise that those people were not going to put on an old fashioned follies.

Maybe I am giving people too much credit for exploring available information about a show before attending it. As much as I believe in everything I wrote above, I am also very sure that some people saw the title and thought they were going to "the follies". Although, really, wouldn't this be a very odd thing to believe given, in 1971, how long it had been since the traditional follies had been a common type of entertainment?
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