- Ron Raines gives the rundown on each of his Follies costars
- The best performances of the Suites By Sondheim benefit concert
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Who is your favorite character in Follies? Do you see where Ron Raines is coming from with his assessments of his castmates? Were you at the Suites By Sondheim concert? Who do you think gave the best performance? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
In this season’s hit revival of Follies, Ron Raines plays the sun in which all orbiting characters collide. As Ben Stone, one
fourth of two married couples crumbling under the reminiscence of a showgirl reunion at a Vaudevillian theater about to be demolished, he holds the fates of everyone in his hands. Will he stay with his wife, Phyllis (Jan Maxwell) or choose his old flame, Sally (Bernadette Peters)? Raines, previously of the long-running soap opera Guiding Light, sat down with Stage Rush to discuss what it’s like to hold all the cards as Ben, Maxwell’s recent traffic accident, and the upcoming cast recording.
How did the recording of the cast album go?
It was terrific. The thing is, we did it on our days off, so we were kind of exhausted. You just click in your head that you’ve got to do it. Of course, you do nothing else [prior to the recording]. That dinner that you usually have with someone Sunday night; you go home instead.
Can you give us a sneak peek at the recording? What can we expect?
I hear there’s a lot more dialogue and story connection. Some of the numbers are really set up. They come out of the scene; which is good, I hope. They tried to connect the numbers with more dialogue, more story.
How did you find out Jan Maxwell had been in a car accident between shows on October 29?
I was sitting right there, reclined. [Points to dressing room lounge chair] My dresser, Danny, said that she had been hit by a car. Immediately, you hear, ‘Hit by a car!’ But he said she was aright, that she was upstairs with the physical therapist. So I knew she wasn’t dead! I knew they didn’t haul her off in an ambulance. They said everything’s alright, whatever that is.
How did the cast react, as a whole?
When we all found out about it, we were genuinely concerned about Jan. Everyone really rallied around her understudy, who was literally being pushed onto the stage, without any rehearsal. In those kinds of moments, you really find out the integrity of the company you’re in.
Early in the show’s previews, Follies was performed without an intermission. Did you enjoy that style or was it exhausting?
I don’t think we were as exhausted as the audience was. We got out earlier. The show is paced, but by the time we got to the “Loveland” sequence, the audience members that were fanatics loved it without the intermission. But the general public, who didn’t know, they were like, ‘We need a break.’ The audience just needed that respite with an intermission. It was fine for me.
VIDEO: Ron Raines on the time Stephen Sondheim came knocking on his door.
If there’s a lesson to learn from Follies, it’s “Don’t look back.” Because if you do, there’s only a mess there. Featuring a fearsome foursome of Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, and Ron Raines, this revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s musical follows a group of former showgirls who gather for a reunion at the theater where they once basked in the spotlight before it’s demolished into a parking lot. What seems to be an innocent trip down memory lane exposes the cracks of marriage and the open wounds of regret for the two main couples.
The No. 1 Reason To See Follies: Bernadette Peters’ performance of “In Buddy’s Eyes” Read more
The fall Broadway season is already packed with new, exciting shows. Here at Stage Rush, we are so stoked about all the new plays and musical revivals about to open that we want to give you a head start on your theatergoing. Stage Rush is giving away two free pairs of tickets to Follies starring Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell at the Marquis Theatre!
Here are the easy steps you need to take to have your chance to win these tickets: Read more
- SRTV celebrates 40 episodes—thank you!
- Hunter Ryan Herdlicka’s star-filled show at Feinstein’s
- Colin Quinn: Long Story Short and other non-traditional Broadway fare
- Broadway grosses
Did you see Hunter Ryan Herdlicka’s Feinstein’s show, Rushers? Are you surprised Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell met there for the first time? What do you think of Long Story Short and these other non-play shows coming to Broadway? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below! Follow Stage Rush on Twitter and Facebook for on-the-go updates, news, and sightings.
Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell were there. Yes, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, who is making his Broadway debut as the morose Henrik in A Little Night Music, attracted quite the crowd to his second concert at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency Monday night. (Elaine Stritch, who also stars in the show, phoned ahead with her apologies—she was filming an episode of 30 Rock the next morning and needed to rest.) Intertwining charming stories of his New York and musical theater life with hilarious deadpan, Herdlicka performed classic songs from Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Stephen Sondheim.
With Mary-Mitchell Campbell on piano as his music director, Herdlicka began with Porter’s “I Happen To Like New York” in a mashup with another song on life in the Big Apple—“Another Hundred People” from Company. Herdlicka described himself as a musical theater addict. “Someone who is a musical theater addict living in New York is like someone with a gluten allergy working at Amy’s Bread—it’s not easy.”
After recounting his early-developed affinity for musical theater as an “intense” child and how it affected him, Herdlicka sang a medley from Peter Pan, which included “Distant Melody,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land.”
Herdlicka told of his callback audition for A Little Night Music, which included an awkward elevator ride alone with Stephen Sondheim. Herdlicka said he turned to the famous composer and said, “Hi, I’m Hunter. I’m here to sing for you,” to which Sondheim dryly responded, “And I’m here to listen.” Herdlicka followed this story with Gershwin’s “They All Laughed.” Read more