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re: Company revival. So what about Bobbie?
Last Edit: Chazwaza 01:37 pm EDT 04/15/24
Posted by: Chazwaza 01:32 pm EDT 04/15/24
In reply to: re: Company revival. So what about Bobbie? - andPeggy 11:38 am EDT 04/13/24

Of the many enormously misguided changes made for this revival, Joanne offering Bobbi her husband for sex is definitely one of them. A toothless, uninteresting, bad change that takes one of the best moments in the script, a moment that is the culmination of the Bobby/Joanne relationship, and just tosses it away on something that has instead nothing in it. It was written as it was for a reason, and not only was it much better, meant much more (meant something at least, unlike proposing she fuck Larry), and had a point in the play. I nearly forgot this change was made and it makes me mad all over again thinking about it. Ha.

Another misguided change is the badly conceived barbershop male version of You Could Drive a Person Crazy.

The biggest issue of all to me in terms of the show itself, not the bad direction, is that changing Amy to Jamie renders the Jamie/Bobbi scene at the end of act one into an stakes-free joke of a scene. Propositioning your gay bestie with whom you haven't and never could have a romantic and sexual relationship with is a joke, it's nothing... it's very different than doing it with a person with whom sex is a real option, a person you could have or did have sex with or date in the past and let go (I may be misremembering but I'm pretty sure in the original Company it's referenced that Amy and Bobby had a thing in the past).
And messing with that completely sabotages Marry Me A Little which is a crucial half-way point on Bobby's journey to Being Alive. Without Bobbie believing that her proposed relationship with Jamie is a real option, a desirable and perhaps improved option, MMAL, a song that must be done in earnestness, is rendered a sarcastic half-joke of a song. MMAL may sound silly to people who know it's not a real relationship being describe, but the point is that Bobbie actually thinks she's found a better way, thinks having her cake and eating it too in a relationship is possible -- in this desperate zone stuck between feeling alone and not wanting to give herself fully to it, not wanting the full "company" of a partner she has to intertwine her life with, give her trust to, be completely vulnerable to.

But when the re-conceiver/director thinks the show is now about a woman who is scared she won't find a partner before her biological clock runs out, rather than about a person coming into the desire and perhaps ability to connect with another person... then you get this Company, rather than the one Sondheim & Furth wrote.
(and spare me the Sondheim was involved and approved -- he famously loves his work being produced and revive and will praise any major production once it's happening... but i believe he was all in for her vision for this show, and I personally disagree with him and think he was wrong... I also think his lyric adjustments are not improvements and do not solve the problem of the show feeling absolutely not written to take place in the world of 2020 or 2024 or even 2014 for that matter --- Marianne claims to have loved the show before she directed it, and I'd say you'd never know it from the changes she made, the things she did that make it clear to me she has an inherent misunderstanding of the show, what it is about, why it works the way it does/did -- so people can have the purest of intentions and still be wrong).
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