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Company Broadway Reviews

COMPANY Broadway Reviews

CRITICS RATING:
8.63
READERS RATING:
8.63
Rate Company

Company, the musical comedy masterpiece about the search for love and cocktails in the Big Apple is turned on its head in Elliott's revelatory staging, in which musical theatre's most iconic bachelor becomes a bachelorette. At Bobbie's (Lenk) 35th birthday party, all her friends are wondering why isn't she married? Why can't she find the right man? And, why can't she settle down and have a family?

Critics' Reviews

10

Rise! Rise! Rise! This Gender Swapped ‘Company’ Wins Our Hearts

From: Observer | By: David Cote | Date: 12/09/2021

Should directors flip gender on other Sondheim classics? I don't know how much we'd gain from a Ms. Sweeney Todd or a male-model Dot. In Company, human properties of trust, love, and loneliness are transitive across male, female, straight, and gay lines. One thing I am certain of: Company is the most sophisticated fun I've had in a theater in ages. It's sexy, hilarious, and hits home in a way that's honest and shockingly resonant. Sondheim fanatics already know what a genius score it is, an explosion of wit and insight and addictive melodies. I can't wait to go again and tear up as Lenk bares her soul in "Being Alive" or the phenomenal ensemble slays the house in the maniacal razzle-dazzle of "Side By Side by Side." The great man passed away two weeks ago; there is no more fitting tribute than a breakthrough work given a whole new life.

10

COMPANY: EVERYBODY RISE FOR THIS SMASHING SONDHEIM REVIVAL

From: New York Stage Review | By: Melissa Rose Bernardo | Date: 12/09/2021

Naturally, there have been a few other character gender swaps as well: The aforementioned eligible bachelors our hero is juggling now sing "You Could Drive a Person Crazy"; it may no longer be an Andrews Sisters-style number, but the three-part harmonies are as groovy as ever. Amy-the reluctant bride who sings "Getting Married Today"-has become Jamie the reluctant groom; Matt Doyle's take on the warp-speed, tongue-twisting tune is simply marvelous. And Bobbie's impulse proposal to Jamie ("Marry me! And everybody'll leave us alone!") is just as ridiculous as Bobby's impulse proposal to Amy always was. "It's just that you have to want to marry somebody, not just somebody," Jamie explains gently, leading to Bobbie's Act 1-ending "Marry Me A Little"-the stop on the road on the way to the show-ending "Being Alive." Even though she proclaims "I'm ready now," she's clearly not: "Love me just enough./ Warm and sweet and easy,/ Just the simple stuff," she coos. Lenk-a Tony winner for The Band's Visit-really gets to show her range as an actress in Company.

10

Company

From: Time Out NY | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 12/09/2021

The modern setting and gender switches help; with a woman as Bobbie, and the sexes of several couples swapped around, the text plays out in exciting new ways. (The sequence for the instrumental "Tick Tock," for instance, now evokes the notion of a biological clock.) The comedy of the modernized book scenes is squeezed to the hilt by a cast that includes musical-theater überdiva Patti LuPone, harnessing her imperious earthiness to outstanding effect, and Broadway pros like Jennifer Simard-who can make any line a laugh line-Nikki Renée Daniels and the Christophers Sieber and Fitzgerald. The show's surreal aspects are realized in designer Bunny Christie's fantastical urban set: a constantly shifting wow of claustrophobic frame-lit boxes, monochromatic interiors, elevators going up and down, Alice in Wonderland-style shifts of scale.

9

show to see right now

From: New York Post | By: Johnny Oleksinski | Date: 12/09/2021

No other show understands the callused skin that hardened, cynical New Yorkers develop to make it through another miserable day quite like "Company" does. Sondheim's musical, splendidly directed by Marianne Elliott, is a paean to NYC about the pains of living in NYC. Eight million people and somehow you're still single and in your 30s. Constantly surrounded by wackos and dullards. Friends hightail it at random, unable to deal with the stress. Apartments are small. The subway is unavoidable. Why pay for therapy when you could go to "Company"?

9

show to see right now

From: New York Post | By: Johnny Oleksinski | Date: 12/09/2021

No other show understands the callused skin that hardened, cynical New Yorkers develop to make it through another miserable day quite like "Company" does. Sondheim's musical, splendidly directed by Marianne Elliott, is a paean to NYC about the pains of living in NYC. Eight million people and somehow you're still single and in your 30s. Constantly surrounded by wackos and dullards. Friends hightail it at random, unable to deal with the stress. Apartments are small. The subway is unavoidable. Why pay for therapy when you could go to "Company"?

Director Marianne Elliott puts the fun and the sex back into Stephen Sondheim's "Company." This is the production, first staged in London, where the lead character Bobby is now Bobbie. The switch from male to female works, but more important is the light, sexy touch of Elliott's direction and how it frees the musical from the year of its world premiere, 1970. This very rousing and arousing "Company" revival opened Thursday at Broadway's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

9

Review: ‘Company’ delivers a near-perfect revival

From: Broadway News | By: Charles Isherwood | Date: 12/09/2021

The production, directed by Marianne Elliott - or rather thoroughly reimagined by Marianne Elliott - scrubs away the date-stamps on this 1970 musical, with a book by George Furth, so thoroughly that the show seems as if it was written yesterday. While maintaining the original's eternally relevant themes, of emotional uncertainty and the risks and rewards of the married state, the production refreshes them for a new century and a society that has changed radically in the past 50 years.

9

A Hopeless Bachelorette in Excellent COMPANY — Review

From: Theatrely | By: Juan A. Ramirez | Date: 12/09/2021

A miscast Bobbie aside, there is very little to complain about in this excellent production of one of Sondheim's most dynamic works, created at a time when the writer-composer was transitioning from the Golden Age that raised him into the postmodern theatre he helped create. The gender swap is ingeniously, thoughtfully implemented and, after a year in isolation, the story's ruminations on the necessity for aloneness, and the importance of connection hit harder than ever. I'll drink to that.

9

Half a century has passed since Stephen Sondheim and George Furth first dazzled Broadway with "Company," their tartly astute 1970 musical about a single Manhattanite dogged by coupled friends to meet a mate. But director Marianne Elliott's sensational new revival strikes like a lightning bolt, surging with fresh electricity and burnishing its creators' legacy with an irresistible sheen.

If there's a better, more vital way to honor the late, incomparable Stephen Sondheim than Marianne Elliott's superb production of Company, Broadway hasn't invented it. This gorgeous revival of the Sondheim-George Furth masterwork at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, is, from across-the-board excellent performances and thoughtful revisions to the visual delight of a lovely and ingeniously clever set design, a gift both to and from the genius we lost last month.

9

Review | ‘Company’ is a mostly sublime Sondheim revival

From: amNY | By: Matt Windman | Date: 12/09/2021

The production (which is a bit overlong, at just under three hours) contains superb staging, visual design (including oversized party balloons, an "Alice in Wonderland" motif, and even a rainfall effect), music direction, and casting - with one notable exception in its leading lady, Tony winner Katrina Lenk ("The Band's Visit"), who is plainly miscast as Bobbie, lacking both the vocal chops and emotional vulnerability for the role.

9

Patti LuPone in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’: Theater Review

From: Hollywood Reporter | By: David Rooney | Date: 12/09/2021

As talented as Lenk is, however, to this longtime fan of Company she seems jarringly wrong for Bobbie, regardless of the character's gender. A darkening touch of cynicism can work with this recessive protagonist, as Raul Esparza showed in the terrific 2006 Broadway revival. But Bobby/Bobbie's yearning has to be apparent, too, and Lenk makes her inaccessible. Without the sense of an ache inside for something more emotionally satisfying - a quality by all accounts not missing from London lead Rosalie Craig's performance - the internal conflict that drives the show has a fuel shortage. Lenk mostly seems aloof, casting a quizzical, sometimes bemused eye over her married friends while remaining too opaque about Bobbie's own needs.

8

COMPANY: THAT INVINCIBLE BUNCH, RECONSIDERED

From: New York Stage Review | By: Elysa Gardner | Date: 12/09/2021

"Company's other commitment-phobe, Amy, has been reborn as Jamie, a man, still terrified to marry the adoring Paul, played by the adorable Etai Benson. After managing to calm Matt Doyle's adroitly hysterical Jamie, Bobbie sings "Marry Me A Little," one of numerous Sondheim fan favorites cut from productions of his shows through the years. "Keep a tender distance/So we'll both be free...I'm ready," she announces. She isn't, quite yet, but she's getting there, just as Bobby was, and Elliott and her own company trace that journey with a mix of intuition, invention and heart worthy of its creators.

8

Company on Broadway Review. Sondheim’s musical, and live tribute.

From: New York Theater | By: Jonathan Mandell | Date: 12/09/2021

The production, an import from England directed by Marianne Elliott, cannot be called definitive. Its most attention-getting feature is the switching of the genders of several of the characters, which at its best feels like an interesting thought experiment about the difference in our attitudes towards men and women. Even when the gender switching feels less than completely thought out, the musical proves to be sturdy enough to allow for such noodling around without undermining the essence of the show. It helps that this "Company" also showcases a company of some of the finest actors on Broadway, and several must-see performances - Patti LuPone, yes of course, but also Christopher Fitzgerald and Matt Doyle.

Magnetic and devastatingly droll in The Band's Visit, Lenk plays the part of the charismatic chameleon compellingly, holding her own coyly, wryly, boisterously with each of the zany couples with which she spends her time. But she doesn't let her guard down enough in the moments in between for a more transparent, fully sympathetic Bobbie to come through. That's in large part because she sings most of Sondheim's soliloquies for Bobbie with an overt crooniness and rather affected vowels that give the sense that the character is still performing for us even when she's alone; the songs also tend to sit too high in her voice to allow much warmth to enter in. Only in "Being Alive," the show's final number, does Lenk offer a shivering, small-scale intimacy, as if she's learning the words for the first time. It's too little, too late, though, to buy that this is the Bobbie who we've been wanting to get to know all along.

8

'Company' review — a welcome reinvention of the classic musical

From: New York Theatre Guide | By: Ayanna Prescod | Date: 12/09/2021

For the single women attending this show, it's impossible not to feel something deeply for this story. I am just like Bobbie, single by choice and moving into my 34th year of living. The pressures of life and family to marry for love, or company, exist. Any time you turn on ABC on a Tuesday evening for an episode of The Bachelorette or log onto any popular dating app you can catch a woman approaching her 30s trying to beat marriage clock she built for herself. This vibrant reinvention is welcome and authentic, but Bobbie needs stronger conviction to make us truly care.

8

Broadway review: A fascinating ‘Company’ that no longer believes so much in love

From: Chicago Tribune | By: Chris Jones | Date: 12/09/2021

Which brings us to LuPone. Her visceral, showstopping, rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch," performed as her character, Joanne, sits perched in a grinding nightclub, is simply extraordinary, filled with angst, hope, cynicism, possibility, vulnerability and all of the qualities you typically and traditionally look for in "Company." Unlike Lenk, who is perfectly charming and perfectly consistent throughout the entire production, LuPone's Joanne actually changes over the course of the number, journeying toward some kind of love (or at least human communion) as people typically do in musicals.

7

It's a Welcome Return of Company to Broadway

From: Washington Post | By: Peter Marks | Date: 12/09/2021

The highs are so high in director Marianne Elliott's gender-reversed "Company" that a Sondheim freak like me can live with aspects that don't quite hit those lofty heights. We'll get to those, but first, let's dwell for a spell on the joys of a Broadway revival that had its official opening Thursday at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - pleasures that make this production a moving, and deeply funny, living memorial to the late Stephen Sondheim.

6

Review: In a Gender-Flipped Revival, ‘Company’ Loves Misery

From: New York Times | By: Jesse Green | Date: 12/09/2021

It's new. And truth be told, I was never less than riveted - if usually in the way Bobby is, eyeballing messy marriages. Nor is the chance to hear the great score live with a 14-piece orchestra to be taken lightly; is there a more exciting opening number than the title song? So I guess I'm sorry-grateful. Sorry for not liking this version of "Company" better - and grateful to Sondheim for providing the chance to find out.


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Pro Readers Reviews

10

A Broadway review by Esta and Aaron, Mother and son that we don't "think you're ready for."

By: | Date: 03/18/2022

“Don’t be afraid that it won’t be perfect. The only thing to be afraid of is that it won’t be.” Stop by www.SpoilerFreeReviews.com for the full review (w/ images). OVERALL SCORE ESTA: A / 🤩 COMPANY surprised me. The new revived cast seemed even more current and modern. It was a fast-paced, brilliantly directed, and blocked show. Those huge set pieces moved with ease and precision so each cast member could hit their mark. Singing and constantly moving in that teeny-tiny apt was perfection. Each pose was created with intention, emotion, and unity. The show made me laugh and cry. It was thoughtful and a joy to watch and ponder where I am in my own life’s journey. AARON: A / 🤩 Damn, I couldn’t say it better myself. This show moved me to tears and made me think a lot about another artist that feared getting old, Jonathan Larson. As the protagonist in COMPANY, Bobby was about to turn 35, and I couldn’t get 30/90 out of my head. Those colossal set pieces that you mention above also reminded me of the constant movement of life. There was a feeling of happy/sad throughout the entire production, and I loved it. Don’t be one of those “100 people that get off the train” and skip COMPANY. It’s one of my favorite experiences on my NY trip with my mom. FAVORITE SONGS AND WHY? ESTA: I have to mention two songs. First and foremost was BEING ALIVE, sung by Bobbi (Katrina Lenk). The lyrics have always been one of my favorites. It hits home for most people, wherever and whoever they are. Katrina’s rendition was a soul-searching moment. She sang on the cusp of heart-breaking tears but never lost control. She was in command of every phrase and note. When she was on the floor, I wanted to run to her, lift her up, and hold her in my arms. This is how much the song moved me to my core. The second song was THE LADIES WHO LUNCH, sung by Joanne (Patti Lupone). Watching a Broadway legend sing such an iconic song was something I will remember forever. She is the star who can make any lyric believable and unforgettable. AARON: One of two we agree on here. My first favorite song is the same as yours – BEING ALIVE. I forgot how much Sondheim’s lyrics in this song could move me. The music is the very essence that “life is COMPANY.” And Katrina Lenk slays it. She got a well-deserved standing ovation. Also, I was moved to my core in a way that I haven’t felt on Broadway since seeing Ben Platt in DEAR EVAN HANSON sing “WORDS FAIL.” The second is “GETTING MARRIED TODAY.” The choragraphy, lyrics, and set movement reminded me of HAMILTON. Also, try not to cry at the song’s closing when a character states, “I just don’t love you enough, Paul.” In other words, it’s a crowning moment in the show. MVP ESTA: It has to be the lead, Bobbi (Katrina Lenk). She made the show what it was. She was not the only powerhouse on that stage, yet her presence and voice always stood out. She grabbed your attention with just a raise of a shoulder, a quiet sigh, or even taking that extra beat of silence. She had the audience in the palm of her hand, which is just pure creative talent. AARON: 💯 – Katrina Lenk will receive a Tony Award nomination. Agree with everything you said about her. She’s a star. STEPHEN SONDHEIM! AARON: I can’t believe it has already been four months since the world lost a legend. What strikes me the most about his work is the relatability to what it means to live. It makes me think of the HAMILTON quote “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” For Sondheim, I’m happy he got to see most of his garden grow and saddened he won’t see future brilliant adaptations of his art. ESTA: What a loss to the theatre world that he no longer walks among us, but his list of contributions to Broadway and theatre will live on forever. He was a genius giant who quietly lived among us. And went about creating some of the best plays and musicals ever written. His words pushed actors relentlessly. In theatre, it is said that if you can do a Sondheim play, you have made it. He expected, demanded, and received an actor’s best. Most say it was a pure joy working with him. His intentions were always spot-on. He left a huge hole to be filled, yet we can still capture his essence by performing or seeing one of his many masterpieces. FINAL THOUGHTS: ESTA: COMPANY surprised me. It was better beyond my expectations. I knew this show, but after seeing it in this new setting and recasting, I now know I truly “see” the play for what it was meant to be. It made me think, laugh, shed a tear, and smile at my very small world. This is what theatre is supposed to do…absolutely brilliant. AARON: Every trip I take to New York, there’s always one surprise play that sweeps me off my feet. On our previous trip, it was COME FROM AWAY. Yet what astonished me the most about COMPANY is that my mom and I weren’t even going to see it! The universe intervened, and we met a lovely theatre-loving couple at our favorite bar, Don’t Tell Mommas. We wanted to see MJ, but they convinced us that we had to see COMPANY no matter what. At TKTS, we were last in line, and I thought we weren’t going to get seats. Yet, an employee saw my mom’s cane (she’s visually impaired), and they took us to the front. Cue us getting row four seats and seeing another edition of “life-changing theatre.” Thank you to the universe for getting us into the show. And thank you to my mom for teaching me to love the arts. 🎭 ❤️