In the late 1980's and during the 1990's, Follies was revived in a number of regional U.S. markets. This followed its debut on Broadway in 1971, which was eventually transferred to St. Louis and Los Angeles in 1971. Major productions of the musical also premiered on stages in Great Britain in 1985 and 1987, when Follies made its West End debut in London. In 1995, the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) produced a regional tour of Follies on stages in Texas and Washington in the United States.
About the Production
The Theatre Under the Stars' production of Follies opened at Houston's Brown Theatre at the Wortham Theatre Centre on 25 March 1995. The musical closed on 9 April 1995 before continuing on to the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington. The production in Houston mirrored the original 1971 Broadway production with the same musical numbers and order. After opening on 25 April 1995, the TUTS production closed in Seattle on 14 May 1995.
The Theatre Under the Stars cast was led by television actress and singer Constance Towers as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Tony Award winning actress Judy Kaye as Sally Durant Plummer, Emmy and Tony Award winner Edie Adams as Heidi Schiller, Tony Award winner Karen Morrow as Carlotta Campion, French actress Denise Darcel as Solange La Fitte, and film actress Virginia Mayo as Billie Whitman. Other cast members included Walter Charles as Ben Stone, John-Charles Kelly as Buddy Plummer, Billy Barnes as Wally Whitman, Kelly Britt as Stella Deems, Maxene Andrews as Hattie Walker, and Adam Petroski as Roscoe. The cast also featured Amy Dolan as Young Phyllis, James Clow as Young Ben, Liz McCarthy as Young Sally, Brian d'Arcy James as Young Buddy, and Kimberly Lane as Young Heidi. The same cast went on to perform in TUTS's Seattle production during April and May of 1995.
At the helm of the Theatre Under the Stars production was director Charles Abbott. The production team also included choreographer Mary Jane Houdina, set designer Ken Holamon, costume designer Cathleen Edwards, and musical director Robert Linder. The musical was produced by Theatre Under the Stars, a professional musical theatre production company based in Houston. The company presents main stage shows at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and an annual free summer series at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. The same production team would go on to stage Follies at Seattle's Fifth Avenue Theatre.
Follies was performed at Wortham Theater Centre in downtown Houston. Owned by the City of Houston and operated by the Houston First Corporation, the facility has two large auditoriums. The Brown Theatre seats 2,405 for mainly opera presentations, major ballets and other larger productions, while the Cullen Theatre accommodates 1,100 spectators for smaller ballet productions and other events. Follies by the Theatre Under the Stars was presented at the Brown Theatre, which is named after donors Alice and George Brown. The facility opened in May 1987.