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PBS to Present Company Revival on Great Performances?

Variety reports that Company, which won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, may be presented on PBS' "Great Performances" series.

The Stephen Sondheim/George Furth classic, directed by Tony Award-winner John Doyle and starring Raúl Esparza, closes on July 1st, but producer Ellen M. Krass (filmed versions of "Follies in Concert," "Sweeney Todd in Concert") will film the matinee and evening performances of Company on June 30th.  No air date has been announced, but negotiations between Krass and producers of "Great Performances" are underway.

Company will close after 34 preview performances and 247 regular performances. The revival began previews on Monday, October 29, 2006 and opened on Wednesday, November 29, 2006, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th Street.  Company won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic's Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Revival of a Musical; the star, Raúl Esparza, earned the Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Awards for Best Actor in a Musical and Mary-Mitchell Campbell won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations.

Company features musical direction and orchestrations by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, set design by Tony Award winner David Gallo, costume design by Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward, and lighting design by Thomas C. Hase.

Starring Raúl Esparza as Robert, the cast also includes Barbara Walsh as Joanne; Keith Buterbaugh as Harry; Matt Castle as Peter; Robert Cunningham as Paul; Angel Desai as Marta; Kelly Jeanne Grant as Kathy; Kristin Huffman as Sarah; Amy Justman as Susan; Heather Laws as Amy; Leenya Rideout as Jenny; Fred Rose as David; Bruce Sabath as Larry; and Elizabeth Stanley as April.

Long before "Sex and the City," Company "took an unconventional look at love and commitment in a complex modern New York.  The show is an honest, funny and sophisticated portrayal of five married couples as seen through the eyes of their mutual friend Robert, a bachelor evaluating the pros and cons of wedded life," according to press materials.

This new production of Company previously enjoyed a sold-out run at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (March 14-April 14, 2006). It continues Doyle's acclaimed method of working with actor-musicians.  The original production opened on Broadway at the Alvin (now the Neil Simon) Theatre on April 26, 1970.  The musical garnered 14 Tony Award nominations (the record until The Producers in 2001), winning six, including Best Musical.  The show was last seen on Broadway for a limited engagement in 1995.

The new Broadway cast recording of Company was produced by Tommy Krasker for PS Classics and Nonesuch.  The CD-set, released on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, includes 66 minutes of music and a 71-page booklet, complete with slip cover. 

Visit www.companyonbroadway.com.  Visit www.pbs.org for more on PBS and "Great Performances."

Photo of Raúl Esparza by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.


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