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Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" opened on Broadway in the Spring of 1970, and tradition dictates that the cast recording is done on the first Sunday after opening night. D.A. ... See full summary »
Moon over Broadway -- gee -- I was really bored. How does a repeatedly produced and published playwright become bored watching a behind the scenes documentary about mounting a Broadway show starring big hitters. How could this have happened??
So many problems of the show (the play) came from the lack of prior readings of the play. It is clear this was rushed into production once carol B. signed up for it. We will note here that carol b. has not mounted a second Broadway return. Why? It's hard. Being on stage in a farce no less is very hard to do at 20, 40 or 60. She's clearly insecure, doesn't know her lines and does not like being told she has to do better. Worse -- she doesn't understand the writer's pacing - pacing period, (there is a rhythm to every stage play, notice I said stage play not a TV skit) That's a major problem. Lastly she prefers paraphrasing instead of sticking to the script. The very reason Mary Tyler Moore was fired by Neil Simon recently, if you'll remember. Not since Moore starred in an ill-fated musical verision of Breakfast at Tiffanys (70s) had she been on stage. There was a reason. She's TV. And so is carol b.
Back to the moon! Carol B.'s co-star Philip b. is a pompous butt jerk, plain and simple; reminding more of the Jon Levowitz skit Master Actor! One more complaint from him and his acting persona and I was gonna shut it off completely.
I am reminded of the character of Lloyd Richards (the playwright) in the movie All about Eve saying: There comes a time that a piano realizes that it has not written a concerto.
It is no wonder that when their contracts were up carol b. and philip b. left the show, and why their replacements (raquel w. and Robert g.) failed.
The show was packaged and sold as a carol b. production -- that's why people came to see it. Though the play is great for what it is, it is not something that will be done a 100 years from now. Therefore the draw of both carol b. and Philip b. got it as far as it was going to go.
The director --- the 4 foot two -- two-bit politically correct homosexual (hey it takes one to know one) from Hollywood didn't get it either. Either that or he didn't care and was in it for the cash.
Re: scene between Ken L. and director nails that criticism. "You didn't think there were problems?" asked very-worried playwright, who thinks there are a lot of problems. Director replies he's pleased as punch. Bull. The run-through sucked, well, carol B. and Philip sucked, the rest of the cast was wonderful. Pint-sized tart boy directs ken L.'s play by the numbers -- adding little -- that's not how it should work. We only write the words, and the story and the jokes, it can only ascend to something better when a good director takes it on.
Theatre is collaboration -- to a point.
During the entire doc-o-drama Midget man (director-thing) paid nothing but lip service like a two bit palm avenue hustler -- desperately wanting to get to his next line of coke and his ass on a red-eye back to Hollywood. I think he was bored too. Really, I do.
I am shocked as a playwright that ken. L many times found himself defending his work to a TV comic star with only one star turn on Broadway over 40 years ago. She doesn't know her character better than the man who created her. Period.
I am frightened to think that if I ever even get close to having a piece performed on any NY stage that I will blow it as I am sure I will tell someone, at some point to shove their opinion up their pink portal. You can see that on ken. L's face many times during this wonderful documentary. He's a better man, than I.
To conclude this rant I leave you with a carol b. defense, "On the show we could paraphrase." But honey, this isn't TV, you're not Dorothy and this isn't Kansas.
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