TV alert: Sondheim tonight

February 20, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Today I am PBS’ biggest fan.

That’s because tonight, the long-running series “Great Performances” is premiering “Company,” a taped-from-the-stage production of the George Firth/Stephen Sondheim musical.

In case you are unfamiliar, “Company” is a landmark musical from 1970 that bypassed traditional story structure to focus on character rather than plot. It concerns a bachelor, Bobby, celebrating his 35th birthday in the company of his married friends. His ambivalence toward marriage is the driving force of the show, which contains terrific songs including “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” and “Another Hundred People.” To hear Sondheim discuss the development of the "Company," click here.

The production taped for this broadcast is the recent Broadway revival, which starred Raul Esparza.

The broadcast is far from unique for PBS. In fact, just about everything Sondheim has written in the past few decades has found its way to PBS and, eventually, to video and DVD. All have been incredibly well produced, capturing the spirit of the stage experience without sacrificing viewing pleasure.

Many of them are available in the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library’s collection, so if you enjoy tonight’s broadcast, let me recommend:

-- “Into the Woods.” Sondheim’s twist on fairy tales ends Act One with happily ever after. Act Two explores what happens when the characters have to deal with the ramifications of their actions.

-- “Sunday in the Park with George.” Critics and Sondheim fans are split about whether the second act is really necessary, but judge for yourself in this Mandy Patinkin/Bernadette Peters musical about, as one of its songs says, “Children and Art.”

-- “Sweeney Todd.” Before Misters Burton and Depp got their bloody hands on the show, PBS aired one of the best direct-from-the-stage productions, featuring George Hearn and original star Angela Lansbury.

-- “Passion.” This intimate musical actually plays better on screen than it did on stage. It tells of a disturbing love triangle involving a soldier, his married lover, and a sickly, unattractive woman obsessed with him.

-- “Follies in Concert.” While the original production of this show—considered by many to feature Sondheim’s richest music—was not taped, a Lincoln Center star-studded celebration of the music was, and is the subject of this part-concert film/part-documentary.

-- “Original Cast Album—Company.” Legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (“Monterey Pop,” “Don’t Look Back”) directed this fascinating behind-the-scenes, warts-and-all look at the making of a Broadway cast recording.

Your thoughts?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Lou,

    I would just add that tonight's presentation of The Company begins at 9 pm on WFYI Public Television.
  • Thanks, Lori
  • Thanks, Lou, for all of these suggestions! They all sound good. Yay, PBS! Yay, public libraries!

    Hope
    www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
  • I saw the program last night. Phenomenal. Company is a weird musical as musicals go anyway, and they did a really good job of staging. Other productions I have seen just look awkward, but this one was appropriately stylized.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT