Friday, February 22, 2008

Company - Sondheim

Angel Desai as Marta

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.

Raul Esparza as Bobby

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