Oh to have been at the Winter Garden theatre in New York in 1971, for a performance of the Stephen Sondheim musical FOLLIES. You would have seen 3 Hollywood stars in top form – ALEXIS SMITH,YVONNE DE CARLO and GENE NELSON.
The concept for this musical came from a Life magazine photo of Gloria Swanson standing in the ruins of New York’s Roxy Movie Palace which had been brought down to make way for offices.
FOLLIES is the story of former Follies girls ( not Ziegfeld, but the fictional Weismann) who reunite before their old theatre is torn down. They sing and dance their old numbers,and remember past times and relationships and ghosts of the past.
Yvonne De Carlo (50 at the time of the musical) had a terrific number called “I’m Still Here” ……” good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and I’m here…..”
Alexis Smith was so good that she made the cover of Time. She had several classic Sondheim songs including “Could I leave you” and “The story of Lucy and Jessie”.
Gene Nelson also has several numbers in which he excelled.
It’s possible to see all three stars in video excerpts, especially the David Frost show from 1971.
Yvonne did “I’m still here” in a 1978 commemoration of the unveiling of the restored Hollywood sign.
FOLLIES has been staged many times over the years. ANN MILLER did “I’m still Here” in a Paper Mill Playhouse production,and can be seen at Huffingtonpost.com
I was lucky enough to see DOLORES GRAY do the number in the London production of the show in 1987 ( in which Diana Rigg played the Alexis Smith role.)