For the first time in its 11 year history, Manhattan Theatre Source - called "one of the top Off-Off Broadway theatres in New York" by New York Magazine - presents an open-end run of a work developed through the company's development process - the musical revue THE GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES, which opened officially on June 28th, 2011. With music and lyrics by Doug Silver and book and additional lyrics by Andrew Frank, THE GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES began preview performances at Manhattan Theatre Source (177 MacDougal Street) on March 31st, and continues to perform every Sunday evening at 7:00pm.
Critics and audiences alike are praising THE GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES:
* Backstage critic Erik Haagensen said, "Innate, unforced charm is an increasingly rare commodity in our perpetually amped up culture, but the cast and creators of "The Greenwich Village Follies" possess it in spades. Placing itself squarely in the tradition of the whip-smart musical revues once produced in Village boîtes by the likes of Julius Monk and Ben Bagley, Manhattan Theatre Source's very first open-ended production could be in residence for a long time to come, even if right now it only plays Sunday nights. A delightful salute to the Village's history and denizens, this refreshing breeze of a show is tuneful, literate, sassy, and sharp. It plastered an insuppressible 80-minute smile on this critic's usual professionally impassive face."
* Michael Musto of The Village Voice said, "Run down to 'The Greenwich Village Follies' at Manhattan Theatre Source [it] is as engaging and as fun as the Village itself."
* BroadwayWorld.com critic Michael Dale said, "With 'The Greenwich Village Follies,' composer/lyricist Doug Silver and bookwriter/lyricist Andrew Frank not only capture the smart, freestyle irreverence that made downtown revues so popular, but they use the format to offer an eighty-minute lesson on the history of America's first haven for artists, free-thinkers and non-conformists."
* Eileen Reynolds of The Jewish Forward said, "There are times when a trip to the theater is more than just an evening out - times when there's something in the air (fairy dust? a benevolent ghost?) that transforms a merely great performance into the kind that makes all your hairs stand on end. June 26, for those of us squeezed into folding chairs in a tiny brick room at the Manhattan Theatre Source [for The Greenwich Village Follies], was one."
* PaulAnne Simmons of CurtainUp.com said, "The Greenwich Village Follies celebrates the city's most beloved neighborhood in song (music and lyrics by Doug Silver) and story (book and lyrics by Andrew Frank). And it does so with great enthusiasm and style."
In a tight 80 minute revue, THE GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES tells - through vignettes, songs and scenes - the history of Greenwich Village, chronicling the Lenape tribe; initiAl Western settlers of the area like Peter Stuyvesant (portrayed by an audience volunteer), and a group of freed 17th century slaves whose descendants become known as "Little Africa"; the resistance in 1811 to the construction of a city-wide street grid; the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911; the Stonewall riots of 1969, and more. FOLLIES pays tribute to many of the famous artists who made the Village what it is today, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edgar Allen Poe, Eugene O'Neill, Jackson Pollock, Peter Paul & Mary, Gregory Corso, and others. It also doesn't leave out some of the more contemporary characters of the Village, like as a typical NYU student, pot dealers in Washington Square Park, and of course, a sex toy shop.