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Original Cast Album: Company (1970)

 |  Documentary
8.4
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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 »

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Title: Original Cast Album: Company (1970)

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Storyline

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. Pennebaker, the now-legendary documentarian, filmed the production of the original cast recording, the back and forth between Sondheim and the performers, and the dynamic of trying to record live performance. The film climaxes with Elaine Stritch's performance of "The Ladies Who Lunch". The show won 6 Tony Awards including "Best Musical" and ran for two years on Broadway. Written by Martin Lewison

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User Reviews

 
Stunning--Even more than I anticipated
20 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This one is for musical comedy fans only, but if you are, this somewhat mythic documentary will remind you why you love them so much.

Watching Sondheim at work, correcting the pronunciation of Bobby, Bubby (booby) Bobby Bob is worth the price of admission.

I've waited years to watch this and finally Netflix made it possible.

A month later, I watched the PBS screening of the John Doyle revival of Company. Since it won a Tony, I expected a decent show though I knew Doyle had staged it with his three-time gimmick, the performers playing their own instruments. (When I heard he was directing "Peter Grimes" at the Met, my first thought was how on earth the opera singers were going to manage to play their own instruments.

Not that I didn't care for the new Company, but I couldn't believe anyone on the planet earth would want to be friends with anyone of those people. They were unlikable, unsympathetic and wore incredibly ugly costumes. No dancing, of course, since you can't play an instrument and dance but there was the marching band doing What Would We Do Without You, which sort of worked. You Could Drive a Person Crazy was sort of cute, with them stopping to blow saxophones rather than do the Do-do-dododo part.

Amy had none of the whimsy that makes "I'm Not Getting Married Today" work. In fact, this Amy looked old and hard.

Joanne, however, had not a whit of the charm Elaine Stritch brought to the part. She seemed to mistake off key for acerbic and walking around playing the triangle just didn't work for me.

Maybe it's hard to be picky about a cast when they all have to play an instrument. What a stupid way to cast a musical comedy. Doyle seems to forget it's a musical.

So rent the Making Of because it truly captures the musical. And listen to the commentary. It's priceless. Once you know what Dean Jones was going through, his "Being Alive" is heart wrenching.


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