Is the Company 2011 Philharmonic DVD still happening?

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In society 40 is the new 35 based on how old (young) we consider forty to be. But the script is what it is and isn't Bobby said to be only in his thirties?
If you don't mind taking it as it turns out, it's a fine, fine LIFE!
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The script says the gang is gathered for Bobby's 35th birthday party. But that could be changed with a simple call to Sondheim and Firth's heir.

I see no problem with making Bobby 40, not even if the period of the play is kept in 1970.

Updated On: 9/4/12 at 07:51 PM
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The script says "thirty-five" but thirty-five looked, felt and played differently then. Dean Jones's Bobby was clearly a somewhat "mature" man. Read- definitively middle-aged. That was the crisis. Thirty-five was not an arbitrary number, it was rather the age at which Bobby becomes officially Robert, and must accept that he is no longer a young man, just a man.

It's telling that the original script emphasized Robert as the character's first name, and seemed to deal most bluntly with age, while later revivals and such have given the character's official name more frequently as Bobby, and dealt more with emotional politics and the issues of love and marriage, frequently skimping over the "you're getting old" subtext entirely.
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I agree with you, Darquek, that 35 was a very specific choice in 1970. Do you have a problem with making it 40, now that people are getting married so much later?

I realize that's an anachronism for a play set in 1970, but it isn't one I think audiences would notice. Do you disagree?
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I think it should be adjusted on a Bobby to Bobby basis. Raul plays differently than NPH or Dean Jones or the hypothetical Hamm.
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Fair enough. But the more we talk about it, the more I think Robert SHOULD be 40 in contemporary productions. I think it's a much more significant milestone nowadays than 35.

My 35-year-old friends are more worried about paying off student loans than getting married.
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Love this thread! My thoughts on the age issue are thus: The 1970 Bobby belonged to the "Silent Generation"; those Americans born between 1926 and 1946. Due to the low birthrate during the depression and war years, they were a very small group, sandwiched between the heroic G.I. Generation and the dynamic Boomers.

The Bobby's of those years faced an almost overwhelming pressure to conform, hence the "Silent" nickname. The advantage they did have was economic, fewer people = easier access to education and opportunity.

Bobby's generation was the earliest married, thereby causing them to miss out on much of the Sexual Revolution that was sparked by the widespread use of the Birth Control Pill, making them envious of the pot smoking and casual sex enjoyed by the late marrying Boomers.

I believe that "Company" is a play of its' time and to keep it in that time, Bobby must stay 35. In 1970 if a man was still unmarried by age 40, he was considered to be gay and a lost cause while our Bobby is still and must remain quite eligible!
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john, I agree with everything you say, but there is such a thing as poetic license. Few members of the audience can do all that math. (Bobby turns 67 this year.)

(Actually, Bobby turns 77 this year! See? I was right that most of us can't do the math.)

If "40" strikes the right tone in the ears of the audience, I for one think that's a small enough historical inaccuracy. The most important thing is that the spectators believe it's "now or never" time for Robert.

Updated On: 9/5/12 at 11:42 PM
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Right. I know many people in a class I took maybe ten years ago were shocked at how old Blanche Dubois was meant to be in Streetcar (for that reason even Norma in Sunset). Those ages seem a lot younger now than they did back then (perhaps particularly for women, but in general I think).

Of course, there's the issue of whether you should update the time or not to correspond. Back to Company, as I've said on here and others have as well, for me it simply doesn't work updated--there's too much that is so 1970. (It's a bit strange they didn't update Bobby's age--maybe they thought about it--for the 90s revisions because even in 1996, 35 barely seems like the age when people would start to worry if you hadn't completely settled down). But that said, for a modern audience maybe it wouldn't matter if you kept it in 1970 but had him be 40 (and as Gaveston said, it probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference even in 1970), as they would largely still bring a modern conception to it, again as Gaveston points out..

My main issue with John Hamm is I see him so strongly as Don Draper, and in the past season or two Don has seemed to have moved past the point Bobby is at--but that's just me being a silly Mad Men fanatic.

(Interestingly, Sondheim, who aside from Michael Bennett was the youngest member of the creative team, was 40 in 1970...)
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Correction... Sondheim wasn't the youngest. Furth was 38.
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He was 38 in the Boston Tryout, so I don't see any reason why he couldn't be 40.
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Interesting, Phyllis, and thanks. I didn't know that.
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Presale at Amazon states it will be released November. Forget the date but I had to order it.
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Personally, I wouldn't change the age, and I wouldn't cast an actor who couldn't pass for that age. I think it's very specific and of its time, and even a seemingly minor change would have a negative impact.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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Then you need a 35-year-old "of that time," which given today's lifespans and physical appearances, will be a man in his mid-forties.

It all just begs the question- is Company more about Bobby's midlife crisis, or about his mixed views on marriage? Ever since the first Nineties revival, I'd say it's the latter, but the original production, I believe, as well as the original script, focuses much more strongly on the midlife crisis interpretation.

The inclusion or exclusion of "Marry Me A Little" is one of the biggest deciding factors. If it's in, Bobby has a moment of deep introspection where he realizes his emotional shortcomings are crashing against his need for intimacy, and cries out that he's ready for someone to come not too close, but just close enough- an impossibility that Act 2 is mostly devoted to exploring, with or without "Tick Tock."

Without "Marry Me A Little," the failed proposal to Amy crashes into his thirty-fifth birthday again. The implication, without the break in between, is that time is marching on- Robert is getting old. Time is running out for things like this.
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Interesting, never thought of the "Marry Me A Little" vs "Tic Tock" plot line. Another aspect to this "midlife crisis or marriage phobia' thought process is the peculiar nature of relationships in New York City. The marrige rate in NYC is the second lowest in the USA (San Francisco is the lowest).

The NYC lifestyle perpetuiates a type of arrested adolescence, many NYers never get married, never have children, never buy a home or learn how to drive a car. Remember an exchange between Jerry and George in a "Seinfeld' episode? "Are we grownups??" There is even a perceived crisis in the Jewish Orthodox community in NYC where you are considered an "old maid" at age 25 as many young Orthodox men are no longer interested in marrying.

In 2012 NYC the pressure to couple up is virtually nonexistant, therby making the whole premise of "Company" ring false. Keep Company in 1970 and keep Bobby 35 in 1970.

Ny the way, EricMontreal22, as a fellow Mad Men fanatic, (and Montreal Canadien hockey fan) the casting people for the show insisted that none of the men be buff as regular folks did not work out in those years. I can attest to that having worked for Jack LaLane Health Spas in Manhattan in the early 70's and we were warned not to get "too big" less it put off the customers!
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It all just begs the question- is Company more about Bobby's midlife crisis, or about his mixed views on marriage?

I'm sure darqukek and john know this, but the two aren't mutually exclusive.

The stereotype of a "midlife crisis" in my experience usually involves some sort of question as to "What have I missed?"

The answer for a long married man may well be, "A sports car and sex with lots of different women." But I would think a bachelor might well reconsider his "mixed views on marriage".

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Darque, that's a great point.

John, nice to see a Habs fan here Is the Company 2011 Philharmonic DVD still happening? You're right of course about bodies. A fit guy, really into the 80s even, in the old days never had a six pack (unless they were young and it was completely natural), etc. I mean now when someone comments that someone is "barrel chested" it's seen as something of a dis... (This is neither here nor there, but it really has rapidly started to get nearly as bad for guys I believe--especially the generation under me--body image wise as it long has been for girls, instead of getting better for girls). Of course in the case of the Mad Men guys, even if their bodies could handle much physical exertion between the smoking, eating and drinking, I'm not sure they'd have the time.
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Eric, you don't exaggerate by much. I used to teach Claire McIntyre's brilliant play, LOW LEVEL PANIC, about media images and women's body issues. By the mid-90s, my male students were writing that they were just as concerned with appearance as the females and the play spoke directly to them.
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I'll have to track down that play--I haven't even heard of it. I certainly was aware of that in the 90s when I was a teen (and even if you compare the average shirtless movie or soap star from the early 80s to the mid 90s there's a huge difference), and it's changed even more drastically since. I know a few years back I did some work at my old high school and I couldn't believe how utterly styled, plucked and coiffed most of the guys seemed--but there's next to no chance of watching a tv teen soap on the CW or something, for example, and seeing a guy shirtless who doesn't have a six pack, and is probably hairless as well.

I guess some of it is just due to the ever increasing role of images and the media in our world, and some of it is an unfortunate side effect of the fact that the genders *are* far more equal (and so guys are increasingly as objectified as women). I do know that eating disorders (such as anorexia) used to be really very rare for men compared to women, the exceptions often being largely in the gay community, but now they are starting to even out (whereas I get the impression for guys the main issue used to be not being bulky enough).

Not really sure what this has to do with Bobby Bubbi, but it is interesting to think about how much some things have changed since the time of Company, while in many ways (to me anyway) it still feels like such a modern show--unlike something like South Pacific or How to Succeed which always felt very much of their time (again, to me). And I think some of these changes really aren't taken into proper account by some productions.
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It is a great play, Eric. I can't recommend it too highly. It is published in a volume with MY HEART IS A SUITCASE, so you may find it listed under that name. I must have seen at least half a dozen productions of it during my years at UCLA, because it's physically easy (one set, 3 women) and because it resonated so well with the students.

I only know of it because of a grad seminar in which we each got to pick a play for another student to write about. I think I "won" that exercise in the sense that I got the best selection.

I don't know if it's ever had a "major" U.S. production. (I googled it and found a review from a Washington, DC, production; the reviewer almost completely misunderstood the point of the play.)
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Gaveston, you're right that the two themes of midlife crisis and relationship anxiety are not mutually exclusive.

Perhaps it is more accurate then to say that the original Company deals explicitly with a midlife crisis, and the examination of choices and relationships it leads to. Later productions play Bobby's age less heavily, so the relationship anxiety is dealt with explicitly rather than implicitly.

"Tick Tock" does the opposite of "Marry Me A Little" dramaturgically. It does more than contrast sex versus love, or uncommitted sex versus married lovemaking- it is a critique of the two generations Bobby is stuck between, young and old. The notes in the score are telling: the "sex" portion is repeatedly marked "a la rock and roll" or something similar. Tick Tock is pretty far from rock and roll, obviously: closer to Bond-theme jazz than anything else. But the music of the "love portion" is smooth, sexless faux-Latin "easy listening" style. In other words, like much of the score, Bacharachian- the opposite of rock and roll. Hip music for the unhip generation.

As the single most "symbolic" moment in the show when it is included, Tick Tock implies that Bobby's central crisis as he "dreams," for it is safe to assume that, like "Side By Side" or "You Could Drive A Person Crazy," the expressionist moments exist within Bobby's psyche or imagination, is of generational anxiety as much as sexual anxiety. Is he one of the young, hip swingers of April's generation, or is he inching towards being an old fuddy-duddy, the kind who cuddle without canoodling, and whisper words like "pot?"
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Sterotypically, a man's "mid-life crisis" involves the perception that half his life is over and the pressure to conform (there's that "Silent Generation" mantra, again) made him miss out on the youthful pleasures of life.

Bobby, on the other hand, HAS enjoyed the youthful pleasures of life, it's his married friends that are having the typical mid-life crisises, envying the single, more youthful Bobby persona. Bobby's atypical mid-life cirsis concerns his missing out on the love and companionship of marrige.

So "Company" turns the mid-life crisis on it's ear, the single man hitting 35 and wondering what he missed, the married 35 (and, in the case of Joanne, over 35) wondering what they missed!
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That's a truly interesting observation, that Bobby's midlife crisis is an inversion of the stereotypical one. I never would have thought about that before.
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^^^^ Not even when I said it six posts back, darquek! Jeeze! Maybe it's true you Broadway Legend types have strange rules as to whom you acknowledge! (All of the above is entirely a joke.)

Thanks for the deconstruction of "Tick-Tock". I've never thought anything about its meaning, other than the punchlines. I do miss the number when it is omitted, but I'm so lyric oriented that I don't think too deeply about the meaning of instrumental music. Entirely to my own detriment, of course.