Great Performances presents the musical "Company"
Tonight at 9 p.m. on West Virginia PBS
Great Performances presents the New York Philharmonic’s concert staging of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical "Company" with an all-star cast including (in alphabetical order) Craig Bierko (as Peter), Stephen Colbert (as Harry), Jon Cryer (as David), Katie Finneran (as Amy), Neil Patrick Harris (as Robert), Christina Hendricks (as April), Adam Lazar (as Paul), Patti LuPone (as Joanne), Jill Paice (as Susan), Martha Plimpton (as Sarah), Anika Noni Rose (as Marta), Jennifer Laura Thompson (as Jenny), Jim Walton (as Larry), and Chryssie Whitehead (as Kathy).
Set in a swinging New York City evocative of the time of the show’s 1970 Broadway debut, "Company" follows perennial bachelor Robert (Harris) on the occasion of his 35th birthday as his five married couple friends gather to celebrate and offer varying degrees of relationship advice. Their interactions are presented in a series of vignettes, primarily through Robert’s eyes. The show’s many Sondheim standards include “Company,” “Side by Side by Side,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Another Hundred People,” “Barcelona” and “Being Alive.”
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, "Company" first opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on April 26, 1970, produced and directed by Harold Prince. The show ran for 705 performances and received the 1971 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Lyrics, Best Set Design, and Best Direction of a Musical, among 14 nominations. It has returned in various revivals, most recently in 2006 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, with Raúl Esparza as Robert, in a production that was also broadcast on Great Performances.
Sondheim specialist Paul Gemignani conducts Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations arranged for a 35-piece orchestra. Lonny Price, who directed "SONDHEIM! The Birthday Concert" on Great Performances, directs; Josh Rhodes is the choreographer. Ellen M. Krass produced this concert production for broadcast.