If you have the chance to see Follies at The Garden Theater during its run, do take it. It is an amazing show to see in the current raw state of the Garden Theater. The renovation plans call for a “theater-in-the-rough look” which will suit it beautifully. Short North Stage Board President Peter Yockel began tonight’s sold out opening show with a dedication to a young woman forever immortalized in a beautiful pencil sketch drawn by Alba B. Cummins. The sketch is dated 1924 and has been hanging on the wall in the back of the theater all these years.
“She’s been waiting patiently in the wings,” Yockel said. He also thanked all who have supported the group through donations and kindness. “It means so much to us, this show of support from the greater Columbus community.”
Follies tells the story of two married couples returning to the theater of their past for a reunion on the eve of the theater’s demise – it is to be torn for a parking lot. As the story unravels in the dilapidated state of the theater, so do the lives of the leads. All of their ghosts and unfinished business rise to the surface, creating mixed and raw emotions for each person.
Each member of the company has a song number and they each really shine in the spotlight. Joan Krause gives a very animated performance as Sally, one of the leads, and her young counterpart Megan Ward does a great job evoking the same sense of character.
The company only had 10 days to rehearse and they must have worked round the clock. The instances where the entire company has dance numbers and songs are well choreographed. They have a few audio difficulties to iron out, but it did not distract from the performances.
Follies runs about an hour and a half and is performed without an intermission. There is water, soda and wine available. Remaining shows are October 15, 21 and 22 at 8pm, October 16 and 23 at 3pm. Tickets are $25. Follies is based on the book by James Goldman. Music and Lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim. The show was directed by Kevin McGuire and produced by Rick Gore. The Garden Theater is located at 1187 N. High St., Columbus.