Follies by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim

Follies trailer

Follies by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim


June 30 – September 10, 2022

Tickets: $15 – $100

Est. run time: 2:45 (one intermission)

Call 415.677.9596 to buy tickets by phone.




  • Audience (829 Reviews): 4.60


Book by James Goldman

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Directed by Bill English

Music Direction by Dave Dobrusky

Choreography by Nicole Helfer

“‘Follies’ at SF Playhouse Is a Heartening, Showstopping Smash! This is one of best re-stagings of a Sondheim show that SF is likely to ever see.” – SFist

“Tailor-made for this late-pandemic era!” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Still glorious … It’s the stuff of legend!” – Queerty

“SF Playhouse doesn’t disappoint!” – East Bay Times

“An awesome, great, and exhausting show, done with San Francisco Playhouse panache!” – Aisle Seat Review


It’s 1971, and theatrical impresario Dimitri Weismann is hosting a reunion of former Follies performers in his crumbling theatre, about to be demolished to make room for a parking lot. The artists gather for one last time, reminiscing about the past and contemplating their future, before the theater dims its lights for good. Surreal, sophisticated, compelling, heart wrenching and epic in scope, this legendary masterpiece uses the musical theatre as a metaphor for the collapse of American innocence and naiveté.

Photos by Jessica Palopoli.



* Member of Actors’ Equity Association. This theater operates under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

^ Member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.


JAMES GOLDMAN (BOOK) James Goldman was an American playwright, novelist, and screenwriter, honored with an Academy Award for the screen adaptation of his own play The Lion in Winter. He is also the author of the screenplays for Robin and Marion, Nicholas and Alexandra, and White Nights; and the book for Stephen Sondheim’s stage musical Follies. Mr. Goldman was born in Chicago and was a graduate of the University of Chicago before beginning postgraduate work at Columbia University in music criticism until he was drafted into the army during World War II. In 1961 his whimsical play They Might Be Giants, about a man who believes he is Sherlock Holmes and is attended by a psychiatrist named Dr. Watson, was produced by Joan Littlewood in London and 10 years later was turned into a film starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward and directed by Anthony Harvey, who also directed the 1968 film version of A Lion in Winter. Mr. Goldman’s first play on Broadway was a comedy about life in the army, Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole (1961), written with his brother William. Other work for the stage includes A Family Affair, a collaboration with John Kander, starring Shelley Berman; Evening Primrose (1966), his second collaboration with Mr. Sondheim; Oliver Twist (1982), Anna Karenina (1985), Anatasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986), and Tolstoy (1996). Mr. Goldman’s novels include The Man from Greek and Roman (1974), Myself as Witness (1980), and Fulton County (1989).

STEPHEN SONDHEIM (MUSIC & LYRICS) Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM (1976), MARRY ME A LITTLE (1981), YOU’RE GONNA LOVE TOMORROW (1983), PUTTING IT TOGETHER (1993/99) and SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM (2010). He composed the scores of the films “Stavisky” (1974) and “Reds” (1981) and songs for “Dick Tracy” (1990) and the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: “Finishing the Hat” (2010) and “Look, I Made A Hat” (2011). In 2010 the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed in his honor.

Follies is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. |

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