i am travelling from the US to see this revival in September...i spent the Summer of 1970 seeing the original Broadway production of the Tony winning musical at least 10 times...9 of those were second-acted!...i am more than excited about the changes that Sondheim has ok'd, and especially look forward to seeing a gay men's couple in the mix and a female Bobbi...
***Spoiler Alerts***I was also at the second preview last night - also from New York to see the show. Rosalie Craig is a star! She was really amazing! Patti LuPone singing "Ladies who lunch" directly at Bobbi was chilling. "here's to the girls who just watch" sent a chill to my bone. She also sang the whole song sitting down and not even facing the audience. It was spectacular. The gender switches MOSTLY worked - except for when people were telling this woman she needed to get married - that felt so old fashion and disgusting to watch. It was VERY uncomfortable when the three suiters sing "Drive a person crazy" to Bobbi and it suddenly becomes a song about blue balls. It was a little bit "rape-y" which is definitely NOT a good thing - especially today.BUT sooooo much was done to update the script, not only to fix gender, but also to update to current times and keep it from being a period piece. For instance "I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain" became "I'll call you in the morning or I'll text you and explain" ... Also several references to "swinging" (a very 70's thing) have all been cut. The piece feels more contemporary except for the fact that a single woman in her 30s in NYC would NOT have that many married friends. If all her girlfriends got married she would probably just get new girlfriends that were single. This, added with the fact that the "old amy / new jaime" scene written for a gay couple works SO WELL - makes me think that COMPANY has always been and probably always should be about a gay man. If the entire cast were gay men the show would suddenly make so much sense. The line "just because we can get married doesn't mean we should' got an audible gasp from the audience. The new lyrics by Sondheim all work very well and the "boy" version of "Someone is waiting" will likely become a standard. I hope it is published. THE PRODUCTION ITSELF was brilliant!!!!!! WOW! I have never seen a production of Company that tried to shard to explain to the audience what the show was about and what Bobbi was going through so thoroughly. It really succeed in so many ways. The set is an ever changing set of boxes and rooms that Bobbi is constantly trapped in as if she is Alice in wonderland. The staging of "side by side" was also brilliant. ****My personal take on the director's intention was that Bobbi gets home from work on her Birthday - pours herself a drink - finds out about the surprise party - imagines everything they'll say to her that she doesn't want to hear, remembers the past year of her life - imagines the wish she will make when she blows out the candle (being alive) - realizes that she won't get her wish - and decides not to go to the party. *****
Looking forward to seeing this on October 9th. I saw the original London production back in 1972 with Larry Kert and Elaine Stritch along with most of the original Broadway cast. I had just moved to London and was so impressed with the freshness of it all that I saw it 9 times altogether. The last couple of times was with the London cast which included Julia McKenzie. Anyway it has always been one of my favourite Sondheim musicals.Very excited to see the new take and of course Ms LuPone and Ms Craig. I don't live in the UK so am coming over from Spain especially to see this. From the clips I have see I know that I am not going to be disappointed. I'll post my thoughts after I see it in 9 days' time.
Tik Tok is not included
Saw this on Tuesday and Tick Tock was included but as an insight as to what Bobbie's future might be like with Andy. I thought it worked well. As I said I saw this on Tuesday but was a whisker away from not going. Spurred on by reports of how photo friendly Ms LuPone had become (information gleaned from another site) and the fact that a friend of mine had his pic taken with her last week, I decided to hang around the stage door to see if I could get a pic a couple of hours before the performance began. I asked Ms LuPone very politely and she answered no photos and no matter how much I asked that was the answer I got. A little confused as to why she said that given that there was nobody else waiting for her. As a long time fan dating back to Evita on Broadway I was very disappointed to say the least. But ho hum divas have the right to say no I suppose. Well not to cut my nose off to spite my Joanne I went ahead and saw it.What a wonderful show! Rosalie Craig as Bobbie was incredible - such a powerful performance - she cried, I cried - she laughed, I laughed. Ms Lupone's Joanne was stellar - her Ladies Who Lunch was the thing Broadway legends are made of.The rest of the cast were excellent too - Mel Giedroyc was a very pleasant surprise as was Richard Fleeshman, not just because he looked easy on the eye but he sang and acted well too. Jonathan Bailey sang Not Getting Married Today with great comedic timing but his accent and his hair annoyed me. I loved the opening number and Side by Side/What Would We Do Without and Barcelona. Of course Being Alive and The Ladies Who Lunch were outstanding.To repeat a wonderful show and well worth seeing. The change from Bobby to Bobbie works very well too. It gives the show a lift into the 21st century while retaining the freshness of the original production. Go and see it!
There's so much that annoyed me about this production. I saw the first preview. Don't get me started on the accents, the awful set so simple and yet it malfunctioned, the lack of "New York", and the lack of lighting. I was waiting for Patti to yell up at someone and say "put a f***g light on me! This is not a lady who lunches in the dark!" From comments of later performances there seems to be substantial changes/improvements. So on my next trip I'll see if I can book a performance. Company has a great score no matter how poorly it is performed.
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