re: Company revival. So what about Bobbie?
Last Edit: Chromolume 12:12 pm EDT 04/13/24
Posted by: Chromolume 11:58 am EDT 04/13/24
In reply to: re: Company revival. So what about Bobbie? - andPeggy 11:38 am EDT 04/13/24

Thanks, andPeggy. The "gay" lyric was changed for the Roundabout, but the "ya think" stuff is new to this production. I also agree that the style of the arrangement doesn't quite work, though I surmise that they didn't want to change it completely from the feel of the original (or that Sondheim didn't want it too updated?). But yeah, it feels like a compromise. I would also say that while I really loved Joel Fram's additional vocal arrangements for the new Merrily revival, I think he overreached with some of the new vocal arrangements for Company - some of them really get in the way of the lyrics IMO.

I agree about Joanne/Larry. But, I tend to think that if Joanne had propositioned Bobbie in this context, Bobbie's rejection might have been seen as a rejection of a lesbian proposition, which is not the right message in the moment (the point is, of course, Bobbie's realization "but who will I take care of," not the sexuality of the characters). But you're right, it doesn't quite work as it is. (I also think there may have been a major line flub in the performance last night - or an actual change in the script that reversed who would be taking care of whom, which also felt wrong. But that may have been a mistake in the moment?)

And yes, Sondheim's original June/April joke works so well. Randy/Andy is very weak in comparison - it's serviceable, but it's not nearly as funny, and doesn't match with the size of the moment that Sondheim builds to in the music. Oscar/Tony would have been very clever but maybe a little too forced? I dunno.

I came away from the production last night thinking the same thing I often think after seeing an updated opera production. Some of it worked, and more of it may have seemed right "on paper," but ultimately not onstage. Ultimately not a clear enough transformation. But ok, some of it did work.

I would also note - and ok, I know the set is meant to be abstract - but early on, it seems that Bobbie lives literally next door to Sarah and Harry. So much so that she can walk right into their apartment from hers. (That's an odd design indeed.) But in Act II, going through that same door takes her (and Andy) into her rather outsized bedroom instead. For me, that was lazy design that shouldn't really have to be explained away with "well, it's all abstract." As Sondheim would say, God is in the details. (And btw - all those floating frames couldn't not remind me of the original Sunday In The Park. I really expected "No Life" to be in the show somewhere lol.)

Sorry - one more - why is 2018/2024 Joanne still referencing Ann Miller? And in this version, Doris Day (in place of Harold Teen)?
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