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Severely truncated book mars this edition,
This review is from: Follies (Playwrights Canada Press) (Paperback)
Unfortunately this is the only script of Follies now available. Behind this mediocre cut and paste job lurks the bemused ghost of its former self! This one reads fine, I guess, if you just want the gist of the show, to put Sondheim's glorious score into some sort of context. The lyrics are all pretty much as they were in 1971. That said, should you manage to track down the original 1971 edition (published by Random House), you will see just how much has been cut from the script, and how much has been lost in terms of the show's impact and sense of vivid detail as a result. Bookwriter James Goldman made significant changes for each successive revival (up until his death in 1998) and this edition was assembled from various drafts in the keeping of Goldman's widow. The end result is shorter, and arguably more easily stageable. Unfortunately it is far less emotionally violent (the two couples really go at each other in the original!) and therefore less effective as a foil for the score. Even the iconic opening, the haunting image of a single ghost showgirl on stage, has been altered to lesser effect. The new ending is an absolute copout. Where is the despair, the tragedy? Where is the undaunted braveness of Hal Prince's original bleak vision? Disappointing. And misleading, if you are hoping to properly evaluate this landmark in musical theatre.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Oct 2013 15:45:57 BDT
Mr. P. J. Dawe says:
There is no "definitive" version of this show. Like all musicals, and particularly Sondheim musicals, they continue to be works in progress indefinitely. Each of us may have our favourite version but it is impossible to provide a "canonical" version of the script. You are lamenting the absence of something that never existed.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2013 23:37:39 BDT
Kevin James says:
With respect, I am not lamenting the absence of something that never existed. The original version ran for over a year. It therefore existed for that time, and thereafter until this revision. In my opinion the original is superior. Track down a second hand copy if you can, then make your own comparison.
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