Ranking the 20 Best, Soul-Crushing Performances of “Losing My Mind” for Prince of Broadway
August 3rd, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Previews are underway for the highly anticipated Broadway premiere of Prince of Broadway, a musical revue that spans the 60-year career of Tony-winning icon Hal Prince. Presented by MTC, the musical runs at their Samuel J. Friedman Theatre through October 22 and stars Tony winners Chuck Cooper and Karen Ziemba, as well as Tony nominees Emily Skinner, Brandon Uranowitz, and Tony Yazbeck. Since we over here at BroadwayBox are losing our minds with excitement and since Hal Prince directed and produced the original 1971 run of Sondheim’s Follies, we present 20 soul-crushing, gut-wrenching, beautifully-sung performances of Follies’ “Losing My Mind”.
20. Liza Minnelli
😢 Moment: Normally Liza can do no wrong, but can we all agree, “Losing My Mind” was never meant to have a club beat...
19. Vanessa Williams
😢 Moment: This rendition is gorgeous but it doesn’t make me want to cry, unfortunately. I would love an all black Follies with Vanessa as Phyllis and Audra as Sally…just throwing that out there.
18. Glenn Close
😢 Moment: Imagine a Follies movie that never was with Glenn and Meryl as Sally and Phyllis….I know it’s the Kennedy Center and yes she’s acting her face off, but it feels slightly rushed.
17. Julia McKenzie
😢 Moment: I very much appreciate the talent and the beauty of the performance but I’m not gutted by it like I am by actresses who appear later on the list.
16. Patti LuPone
😢 Moment: Audio only, but what can you do? The phrasing—I can’t. But also, I’d love to see her and War Paint co-star Christine Ebersole performing Follies in like 2001, but doing it Little Foxes style where they switch off nightly.
15. Judy Kaye
😢 Moment: The two-time Tony winner is SINGING HER FACE OFF, and I salute her.
14. Donna Murphy
😢 Moment: God, I wish I could see her face. I bet she’s acting for her life. The vocals are so rich and so emotional. Beautiful.
13. Lora Lee Gayer
😢 Moment: The youth in her voice makes the song very relatable. The vocals are so strong, that alone will give you chills. The ending at 2:55 is spectacular, touching her chest, belting, lamenting.
12. Ruthie Henshall
😢 Moment: This queen of the British stage starts slow and steady, she’s in it for the marathon of pain. That “loved me” at 2:55 slayed me. And that jazzy hint on the final “losing”. Bless.
11. Jeremy Jordan
😢 Moment: There’s an optimism when he starts the number that’s interesting and refreshing. Then he makes a switch around 1:47 and kicks this thing into emotional high gear.
10. Barbara Cook
😢 Moment: Cook is playing the long game here. TBQH, it’s a little too legit soprano for my liking, but I get that some people live and die by this rendition. I love the symbol crash into her entrance at 3:27. That final “loved me” was heartbreaking too.
9. Victoria Clark
😢 Moment: Clark told us about performing this number, and her restraint is beautiful. She’s putting the story first and it’s stunning. I love the fear she plays around 2:15 is very moving.
8. Michael Ball
😢 Moment: Michael Ball sure knows how to deliver a lyric and tell a story without ever overselling the drama. I loved when he gets up at 1:55, and the way he mixes anger and sadness for the end of the number. He’s a wreck and I love it.
7. Cristin Milioti
😢 Moment: There’s such a sadness and beauty to her voice and this arrangement. The acting from 1:24-1:42. Then 2:37, come on! I didn’t know where to go after that.
6. Dorothy Loudon
😢 Moment: What I love about Loudon is before singing a single note, she’s giving you a full performance. Her phrasing feels unique. The way her voice quivers at 2:14 and then the way she looks down almost ashamed, I nearly broke down.
5. Marin Mazzie
😢 Moment: Her “not going right” into “I dim the lights” at 1:26. Something in her delivery makes it more about right vs wrong than left vs right. Beautiful. The acting from 3 minutes to the end—chills, tears.
4. Maria Friedman
😢 Moment: This whole performance made me want to cry. It felt so real, so subtle, so desperate in its resignation. I loved every second.
3. Judith Ivey
😢 Moment: This incredible performance all comes down to three moments, her turning around at 2:34, her shaking at 3:18 for “I dim the lights”, and her voice breaking on “you said you loved me” at 3:30. Then her touching her face for the exit. It makes you just want to tear at your clothes in grief.
2. Dorothy Collins
😢 Moment: Broadway’s OBC Sally is so deliberate in her delivery. It’s truly devastating. She’s going for broke. The way she plays 1:40 like an in the moment realization—my god!
1. Bernadette Peters
😢 Moment: It’s hard to get better than Broadway’s most recent Sally Durant Plummer and one of the foremost interpreters of Sondheim, Bernadette Peters. She jabs you in the heart with every single lyric. Starting at 1:35, the very pointed delivery of “you” then the break at 1:52 before “or were you just being kind” with the knowing nod after. I’m dead. DEAD. Too dead to discuss 3:30 and all that follows.
Don’t miss/can’t-miss Prince of Broadway at MTC’s Friedman Theatre.