Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Veanne Cox, Debra Monk|
Company - A Musical Comedy (1995 Broadway Revival Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Expectations ran high for this 25th anniversary revival of Company. Boyd Gaines's Robert was surrounded by a solid cast, though once again the women particularly shone: on "Barcelona" Jane Krakowski shows why she was a res... more »
Expectations ran high for this 25th anniversary revival of Company. Boyd Gaines's Robert was surrounded by a solid cast, though once again the women particularly shone: on "Barcelona" Jane Krakowski shows why she was a respected Broadway actress way before television discovered her in Ally McBeal, while Veanne Cox navigates the treacherous rapids of "Getting Married Today" with the assurance of a true New Yorker for whom singing fast is routine (does she even breathe?). Debra Monk won't make us forget Elaine Stritch on "The Ladies Who Lunch," but she's more than adequate as she roars down this ultimate showstopper. "Marry Me a Little," not in the 1970 version, is included. Of the three Company recordings that are widely available, this is the only one to include the complete lyrics. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Not for everyone
gplechuck | 02/04/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Company" is my favorite Sondheim show, and out of the four recordings of it that I have, this is my least favorite. The CD does not leave me satisfied and haunted as the original Broadway CD does. The singers evoke no passion, and the orchestra is too synthesizer-dependent. The only track of note on this CD is Veanna Cox's "Getting Married Today" - her diction is unbelievable, but she, as the other singers so, seems to leave behind the feeling that is supposed to go into the song. This is at best an interesting buy for those who are already familiar with the score, but for first-time listeners: go with the original."
It's the little things
keauxgeigh | San Francisco, CA USA | 09/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'd like to get proponents of the three versions of "Company" I'm aware of - the OBC, 1996 London, and this 1996 Broadway Revival Cast - and put them in a room together to "discuss" which one is the best. And better, put a large table in the center of the room, piled high with fruits and doughnuts and the sort, and see how long it takes for the food to start flying.
I actually have all three of those recordings. An ex gave me a cassette of the 1996 Revival Cast, then she bought me the 1996 London cast CD, and after the OBC was remastered on CD, I went and bought that for myself (after we broke up). Each recording has its high points, and in a geeky song-to-song comparison, each recording has songs which are done better than on the other two. But this 1996 Revival Cast has the least. It doesn't help that the actor who plays Bobby is kind of bland, and his "Being Alive" was a disappointment - a song that when I listen through line by line, listening to what it says, usually gets me all verklempt. "Getting Married Today" is the most technically proficient performance of that song, and still amazing at that, but the singer sacrifices the desperation and frantic emotion needed to really deliver that song.
On the plus side, I don't think there should ever be a comparison to Elaine Stritch's "Ladies Who Lunch", I think our panel can agree to put down the tomatoes and kruellers and give that song to the Original Broadway Cast. Given that, the 1996 Revival version is quite well executed and hits all the emotions and nuances required of that most nuanced of songs. This version is the only one that makes me laugh *every* time she hits that last 'I'll drink to that' - you know the one. It's a little over the top, but it's so gold. I liked the version of "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" best on this recording because it has the cleanest execution and the women really hit the Andrews Sisters-esque close harmony, the precision of which makes the song work just a tiny bit better than the other versions. It's a competent recording, and an update on the OBC (there are more parallels between the two Broadway recordings than with the London), and it's obviously a better sound recording.
My favorite of the three? I know I'm gonna get pelted with jelly doughnuts, but I like the London best *throws up arms defensively*. It's the little things in that recording, like the 4 bars of swing, breaking the rhythm in one of the chase sections of "What Would We Do Without You?", that I'm always listening for now, and isn't on either of the Broadway recordings. There are a whole bunch of just little things I listen for that I like when I put on the CD - a syncopation, an inflection, a different bit of orchestration - oh, the orchestration on the Revival cast is excellent, a lot of little subtle additions. Finally, I liked Adrian Lester's Bobby on the London recording the best because he just sounds very natural, whereas the other Bobby's sound more like formal singers. It's the little things."
Newer Company CD has highs and lows
keauxgeigh | 11/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1995 revival recording has had some musical rearranging from the original 1970 cast album. Generally, it captures all of the sondheim magic as it was intended, although the electronically enhanced "orchestra" occassionally leaves something to be desired - sounding oh so thin at times. As lead singers go, Boyd Gaines is no Larry Kert, but who is? I heard more than a couple of notes under pitch and his range is better suited to less demading material. His character's big number, "Being Alive," was prefunctory and unmoving. Best stuff: Veanne Cox's incomparable "Getting Married Today," and anything the ensemble does. Worst moment: the screeching of Debra Monk on "The Ladies Who Lunch." One of the great show-stoppers of all time, the tune is murdered! True, she can act her socks off, but that is a musical folks. It is hard to top Elaine Stritch's original or Carol Burnett's recent interpretation."