Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Various Artists 

Company (2006 Broadway Revival Cast) (Nonesuch Records)

Wednesday, Mar 7 2007
In a city plagued with people scrimping for nerd credibility, you'd assume Stephen Sondheim's musical theater oeuvre clogs many an iPod's "most recently played" list. Alas. Take, for example, the must-have soundtrack to the production of Sondheim's Company — where director John Doyle has his performers act as both cast and orchestra, playing instruments on stage as they sing, to tremendous effect.

The musical is a cynical tale of a single guy, Bobby, on his 35th birthday, who is surrounded by his drunk, high, horny, lonely, adulterous, and loving married friends. One of the first of Sondheim's groundbreaking '70s shows, this streamlined recording almost matches the grand 1970 original — a masterpiece difficult to top. Heather Laws' comically hysterical version of the rapid-fire "Getting Married Today" trumps Beth Howland's faultless original. And while Barbara Walsh makes a sleek Joanne, even God would have trouble one-upping the pre-Alcoholics Anonymous Elaine Stritch and her painfully perfect "The Ladies Who Lunch." But the real reason to get this disc is Raúl Esparza. In the role of Bobby, and especially in his handling of "Bring Alive," he comes off like the frustrated lonely hearts we all know, who lose out on love by losing sight of his obvious options. Much like Doyle's reinvention of Company, he is just that good. — Brock Keeling

About The Author

Brock Keeling


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"