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Love Is Company

Last night, the spouse surprised me by taking me to a performance of the legendary Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical Company. Although the original cast recording is tattooed on my brain, this was the first time I’d seen this show live on stage. For a budget-constrained local production, it was very good, energetically performed, and surprisingly timely for a show on contemporary relationships that is closing in on forty years old.

Speaking of Company, how about a clip from the fantastic D. A. Pennebaker documentary on the recording of that original cast album from 1970? This scene has the dynamite Pamela Myers singing “Another Hundred People” while Pennebaker’s camera focuses on the various instrumental sections. One thing that is really evident here: the recording’s brilliant musical arranging by Jonathan Tunick, with bits and pieces of melodies “quoted” from other songs in the show (notice the trumpets’ “Bobby baby” around 1:55). As was customary back then, the album was recorded in one all-night session during the show’s opening weekend, a crazy process brilliantly captured in this doc. More scenes here.

One Thought on “Love Is Company

  1. Terry Anderson on May 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm said:

    Hey Matt,
    I first saw this movie in the mid-eighties on a bootlegged vhs and was totally wowed by it, especially the ultra-harrowing Elaine Stritch “Ladies who Lunch” section. A few years later I saw this on Letterman and while I loved it, I couldn’t imagine that there were more than a handful of people who would really GET the joke. Enjoy.

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