Elaine set foot, once again, onto the New York stage in the Broadway transfer of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Follies’. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, Elaine joins Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein and Ron Raines in the limited engagement which began on August 7th at the Marquis Theatre, with the opening night on September 12th.
MY DAILY NEWS
British star Elaine Paige stops things cold 75 minutes in with a punchy and perfectly calibrated “I’m Still Here,” a wry ode to unsinkability.
As Ms. Paige performs “I’m Still Here” — with a galvanizing fierceness that makes this much-performed song sound fresh and stinging — it’s not just an anthem of survival but also of rage against ravaging time.
Elaine Paige, the Brit star who in years past created such roles as the title character of “Evita” and “Cats” highlight Grizabella, ups the evening’s voltage with flashes of humor and an effective “I’m Still Here”.
And here’s none other than Elaine Paige, who shows up, more or less, to handle the Elaine Stritch Moment: Her “I’m Still Here” delivers the goods, though more than half of it consists of Paige being, well, there.
Rising to the top is British star Elaine Paige, who displays unexpected comic self-awareness as Carlotta, the aging diva trumpeting the up-yours anthem “I’m Still Here.”
Paige’s “I’m Still Here” is a sassy cabaret triumph.
There are also jewels among the book songs. Elaine Paige wrenches every ounce of bruised experience and jaded humor from “I’m Still Here.” No matter how many times you’ve heard them, Sondheim’s lyrics to that survivor’s anthem, charting the decline of a screen goddess to a Vegas act, a camp icon, and finally, a TV fixture (back when television was a demotion, not a fresh career opportunity), make the song a peerless example of the wry character confessional.
…the savviest I’m-still-here anthem (slyly nailed by Elaine Paige).
The delights now include a lighter, tighter portrayal by Elaine Paige of the boozy floozy Carlotta. She’s turned the has-been Carlotta into a funnier, and therefore sexier, creature, and her barn-burning survivor song, “I’m Still Here,” really is a show-stopper.
Paige gets to sing the in-your-face “I’m Still Here,” and gives it gangbuster treatment – it’s one of those Broadway songs written for the rafters, and Paige is happy to shake them. Happy – who is and who isn’t, and to what degree – plays a big role in this reunion and so does success, as in all reunions.
…as the ever-intriguing Elaine Paige reminds us, “Follies” is about still being here just as much as wondering what happened — then recede whenever loss and regret overwhelms.
As film star Carlotta Campion, the diminutive Elaine Paige completely brings down the house with a magnificently executed “I’m Still Here,” which begins almost conversationally and ends with a burst of defiance. In her hands, this now-beloved song is truly the anthem of a still-thriving survivor rather than a final summation of a long career.
In a somewhat similar vein, the veteran British musical star Elaine Paige, drolly playing a resilient performer who’s become a TV star, does a rousing, swing-from-the-heels version of “I’m Still Here.” It’s awesome, but it comes across as much a statement of Paige’s presence as of the character’s.
Elaine Paige’s wise-to-herself Carlotta Campion also expresses practicality in “I’m Still Here,” although her show-stopping rendition is doused in more bitterness than most interpreters allow.
One after the other, performers step up to produce thrilling versions of songs including “I’m Still Here” (Elaine Paige) which is a sassy cabaret triumph.
THE MORNING CALL
Without the device ever seeming crass or manipulative, these sepia-toned lovelies of the pre-war years alternately flare up with the force of nostalgia and resilience — and, as the ever-intriguing Elaine Paige reminds us, “Follies” is about still being here just as much as wondering what happened — and then recede whenever loss and regret overwhelms.
CAPITAL NEW YORK
The show’s rousing “I’m Still Here” is given to Elaine Paige. This song about triumphing over life’s adversities is tough to pull off, but Paige drops her party-girl persona enough to give us a glimpse at the pain underneath. Paige gets the star treatment from costume designer Gregg Barnes.
”I’m Still Here” … performed by dynamite British diva Elaine Paige
Elaine Page’s stunningly forceful take on the iconic “I’m Still Here.”