Friday, February 22, 2008
Company - Sondheim
Watched the PBS Great Performances broadcast of Steven Sondheim's 1970 musical comedy Company. This 2007 revival featured Raul Esparza as Bobby, and a lot of other talented performers. It was on PBS last night, and I presume it will be played quite a bit in months to come.
I'm not much of a musical fan but there are several I enjoy, so I'm not turned off to the very idea of musical comedy--just most of them. I wasn't familiar with this musical as a whole but for decades I've been impressed by songs from this show (particularly "The Little Things You Do Together," "Another Hundred People," and the title song) -- they're clever and uncliched, sophisticated without being stuffy, and generally fun. The show has quite a contemporary feel for "light entertainment" written over 35 years ago (perhaps part of it was rewritten for this revival?). I'm glad to have the opportunity to see it staged. Performances -- especially the singing -- are good to excellent.
The staging, with the actors doubling on instruments they often carry, is engaging. I imagine it would be a blast to see in the theater. Unfortunately, as with many filmed stage productions, what seems to crackle with energy in the theater is a bit flat on video. Still, it's way better than not having it at all. If you're at all inclined to enjoy it, look for it on Great Peformances on PBS.