We often go out in London with my husband, it’s our “thing”: we book theatre and show tickets for every month. This kind of cultural entertainment is one of the reasons we’re sticking around London, it’s a lifestyle we don’t want to give up. Last month, as it was my husband’s Christmas present from me, I have booked tickets to watch Company much-loved musical classic. The musical was nominated for 14 Tony awards (out of which, won six!) in the year of its debut (1970). Written by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, Company stages as a musical comedy. Main character, Bobby in his 30’s surrounded by his married or getting-married-soon friends is single and trying to find his own way to happiness. The scenes are introducing the couples where Bobby is always the most welcomed third and they tell him about their married life and why Bobby should get married too. From Bobby’s point of view, he’s the outsider, the observer and he sees and questions the flaws of his friend’s marriage but the piece also makes us realise how life is about all the small compromises and wed life is full of them, whilst at the same time trying to be true to themselves, to the person they were before getting married.
What we thought
In Marianne Elliott’s version of the company Bobbie is a woman (and there are some other changes which update the musical to the current times as opposed to the 50 years old original piece), and this gender bending gives the most brilliant contemporary twist. It’s not only refreshing, it’s relevant too. The songs are still wonderful and Rosalie Craig is fantastic in her role. I adore the musical songs written in the 60’s and 70’s they are still echoing the then freshness of the whole new genre just being created. (For days after the show I still could hear the “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby darling, Bobby sugar…” in my head.)
The first one has to be Joanne’s scene, set in a club, it is probably everyone’s favourite too, an absolute crowd-pleaser, by the two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone. Sarcastic, bitter, grabbing life with both hands, burning candles on both ends, vulnerable, all at the same time. Wonderful scene.
And the other one is Jamie’s and Paul’s wedding day which is a real laugh out loud, cleverly funny scene set on the morning of the gay couple’s wedding, when Jamie’s getting cold feet. Visually this is also the best scene in my opinion with both grooms dressed in white and funny angel/vicar characters popping up from unexpected places on the stage, in perfect harmony with the rhythm and the lines of the song.
All in all it was a delight, having seen the original musical.
Next on our list
Bitter Wheat – starring John Malkovich. Enough said? I thought so! (World premier, limited season.)
All about Eve – West End premiere based from the 1950’s film starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles.
Midsummer Night’s Dream – who doesn’t love the classic Shakespearean comedy? I haven’t seen it in ages – looking froward to this one.
This is a collaborative post.