On Saturday, I watched a documentary of Broadway through the years. It was live streaming on Netflix (which I can do via my TiVo), and hosted by Julie Andrews. I was fascinated. I truly grew up in the wrong age. The Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rogers & Hammerstein, Rogers & Hart, Jerome Kern, Bernstein--all gorgeous. Sigh. . .
After it, on Sunday, I ended up watching the 2006 revival of Sondheim's Company on Netflix (with a near-perfect Raul Esparza). The music is so lush, and he is so good as Robert. It is an odd musical written in an odd time, but I kind of love it. I've had this song in my head all day.
A lot of the songs I've heard before, but I didn't realize where they came from. This one is something I sometimes sing in my head when dealing with various family members. Or sometimes when I have to deal with "special" people in my job. Whole conversations with silly people have been tolerated with a smile because I had this song playing in my head (minus the teensy bit of salty language in this production).
The longing in some of the songs is completely heartbreaking but gorgeous. I watched an interview with Esparza where he talked about it being his favorite--or at least the best he thought he had ever done. He is incredible in it.
Many years ago, I watched a filmed version of a Bernadette Peters concert with an old roommate where Bernadette gorgeously sang the big finale song Being Alive. My roommate complained that the song wasn't good--that it just was a list and didn't go anywhere--that it was stupid. She was wrong.
The power of the song really comes from where it is staged--at the end of all the quibbles of a man's life, of the vignettes he's remembered during the course of a surprise birthday party. It is an amazing moment of realization--what it means to be in a real relationship with any person--not just having surface relationships with people. This is a little melodramatic if you haven't had to expend the emotion to get through the entire play, but I really loved it.
Yep, I've had the entire show in my head for three days now. I need to get more musical theater in my life. The last show I went to was Spamalot in New York over two years ago. That is just wrong.
I leave you with my favorite song from Company--possibly because the joy you must have to take in performing it. I really would love an excuse to perform it, but I have no idea how I could find that excuse. Heather Laws does a great version (and her diction!), but my favorite is Carol Burnett's. She is just so funny!