Revival to close on original date of July 14
NEW YORK — Tony time is closing time.
The Roundabout’s Broadway revival of “Follies” put up its closing notice this week, following similar announcements from the producers of “A Class Act,” “Bells Are Ringing” and “Jane Eyre.” Unlike the other three tuners, which call it quits this coming Sunday, “Follies” will hang in until July 14, its original closing date.
“Follies” had been nominated for three Tony Awards: revival of a musical, lead actress (Blythe Danner) and featured actress (Polly Bergen). It didn’t win any awards this past Sunday.
Prior to the April 5 opening of “Follies,” the Roundabout Theater Co. extended the Broadway engagement until Sept. 30.
The revival of the lavish 1971 musical by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim was much anticipated. Pre-opening, the Sunday New York Times devoted several pages to features on the revival, leaving some legit observers agog at the bountiful coverage.
Only days later, however, the Times’ Ben Brantley severely criticized the production in his review, as did several other daily newspaper critics.
(According to Variety‘s Critics’ Tally, “Follies” received six favorable reviews, eight unfavorable and three mixed.) In a rare but not unprecedented move at the Times, another critic, Stephen Holden, recently wrote a long defense of director Matthew Warchus’ pared-down presentation of the musical about a reunion of showgirls.
On the Tony telecast, Bergen sang a few bars of the “Follies” anthem “I’m Still Here,” but unlike the more extended numbers from “The Rocky Horror Show” and “The Full Monty,” two shows that also didn’t nab awards, the TV exposure did not create a bump at the box office.
“When ‘Follies’ closes at the Belasco Theater on July 14, it will have played a total of 19 weeks, all of which will have been profitable,” Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes said in a statement. “Looking beyond July 14, however, we feel that due to increasing costs and the relatively small size of our theater, it would have been very difficult to meet our weekly operating expenses.”
“Follies” is currently operating under a League of Resident Theaters contract, and after July 14 would be covered under a more expensive Broadway contract.