GLAAD Honors Company

Last week, I made my first trip back to New York City since well before the pandemic.  Consequently, this was my first time back in a Broadway theatre in over two years.  I was delighted to kick off my trip with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.  Everything that could be said about this gender-bending revival has already been said.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; sometimes it illuminates a point, sometimes it distracts from it.  In one instance (the Joanne/Larry/Bobbie scene in act two), it improved on the original – although many critics disagree with me.  Chacun à son goût.  That said, this is the first production I’ve seen of Company where the scenes (the acting) were even stronger than the songs (the singing).  Once one gets past the drawn-out opening, you get to Harry and Sarah – played with gusto by Christopher Sieber and Jennifer Simard.  You are not likely to ever see this done better…ever.  Simard is a scene stealer, in the best sense of the word, and Sieber’s rendition of “Sorry-Grateful” actually showed both sides of his argument – and got both reactions from the audience.  Another stand-out performance is Matt Doyle, as a delicious Jamie (aka Amy) – and not bad to look at!

While I know I should talk about Katrina Lenk’s Bobbie, I don’t have much to say.  I think she was fine.  She didn’t enhance the role or the show in any way for me – nor did she get in the way of it.  I’m not convinced she can effortlessly sing the score, nor did I buy her apotheosis.  But, you know…whatever.  As to Patti LuPone, she is as droll and laconic as ever, and vocally she’s in fine form.  I suspect I would have enjoyed her Joanne more had I seen it across the pond where it might have been fresher.  She is never less than authentic and mesmerizing.

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It was happenstance that I ran into Wilson Cruz outside of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre where Company is playing.  He was there to present the cast with the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Broadway Production (which they shared with Thoughts of a Colored Man).  The presentation took place during the curtain calls with a speech not only about Sondheim and the LGBTQ representation in this specific production, but also praising the openly gay cast members – including Matt Doyle and Christopher Sieber.  After the audience left, everyone returned to the stage for some photos…and the fact that I was alone in the empty theatre and inadvertently photobombed the event was another one of those happy coincidences.

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