From 2007–2010, Imelda Staunton struck terror into the hearts of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter movie series in which she played Dolores Jane Umbridge.
Tonight you can catch her in select theaters around the country making people happy in Stephen Sondheim‘s “Follies” as Sally Durant Plummer, a former dancer who meets up with a former friend and an old flame. Nostalgia vs. aging.
The smash-hit National Theatre production is being broadcast live to international movie theaters with repeat screenings during the coming weeks. To find a theater near you and more about the production, click here.
Staunton, a theater icon in England and West End regular in plays and musicals, winning four Olivier Awards, three of which were for Best Actress in a Musical as the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” (1991), Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” (2013) and Mama Rose in “Gypsy” (2016). She also won Best Supporting Performance for both “A Chorus of Disapproval” (1985) and “The Corn is Green” (1985).
Stephen Sondheim is working on a musical with playwright David Ives (“Venus in Fur”) based on the films “The Exterminating Angel” and “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” that is expected to be staged by The Public Theater. “We will do it whenever Steve tells us to,” said Public’s artistic director Oskar Eustis, as reported in the NYTimes.
Sondheim, 84, and Ives, 64, have just finished a first draft of the musical and that a production was a few years away, the composer said in an interview with the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.
Sondheim’s last piece was the Public’s 2008 production of “Road Show.” Ives’ “Venus in Fur” played off-Broadway in 2010 and transferred to Broadway in 2012. His play “All in the Timing” is his most produced work.
New TV shows and returning series used to be a big deal every Fall when I was growing up. Not so much any more with cable introducing new shows year-round and Netflix releasing entire series in one day. We can still count on PBS and Lincoln Center to come up with a Fall spectacular and it’s a New York Philharmonic concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s bloody musical “Sweeney Todd” airing 9-11:30 p.m. today (Sept. 26) on Channel 13 in New York. (Check local listings for air dates and times in other locations.)