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"Company" Cast Recording/Follies in Concert DVDs! 
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Young Hoofer
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Post "Company" Cast Recording/Follies in Concert DVDs!
Let me begin by saying that I LOVE the music library at McGill University. They have SO much of Sondheim's material.

Today I checked out the documentary about the recording of the original "Company" cast album. What a fabulous piece of history, especially after you've merely listened to those precise performances for so long. Incredible stuff. Everyone's so freakin seventies, and that group of brilliant people was at the cutting edge of musical theater at the time! It's so delightful to watch the all the drama and technicalities.

The DVD of the 1985 "Follies" in Concert is slightly less delightful, but nevertheless great to watch. I get a kick out of seeing Steve in his various stages of aging. He only gets better looking as time goes on. It's also interesting to compare Elaine Stritch, who appears in both productions. I have the recording of that concert (also from the music library). The DVD is of course merely a nice supplement to that excellent recording.

Anyone else seen them? Comments?


Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:16 pm
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I own and love both of them.

The only dissapointment I have is that in the Follies dvd..you dont see the whole concert after going through the whole process.

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Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 am
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Fresh Face
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The Company video is amazing. It's wonderful to see the faces of the folks we've loved for years on the album. And that section where Elaine Stritch is trying desperately to record Ladies Who Lunch and just cannot do it is just exhausting to watch. Of course, she is just a bit tired after a 15 hour recording session, but to watch her go through all that pain and frustration of trying to do her signature piece is really painful to watch. Then, of course, she comes back in a day or so later and just absolutely blows it out of the water with her recording of the song to the pre-recorded tracks instead of doing it live with the orchestra there.
Also fun is to find Sondheim discovering that the gal who sings Another Hundred People has been making a mistake every time she's sung the song. He tries to correct her, but it's too ingrained and she can't make the change. On that same song, they do a very nice bit where they concentrate on different instruments in the orchestra so you hear that particular orchestra part highlighted over the rest of the orchestra.


Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:22 pm
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Post FOLLIES IN CONCERT DVD
Jud wrote:
The DVD of the 1985 "Follies" in Concert is slightly less delightful, but nevertheless great to watch. I get a kick out of seeing Steve in his various stages of aging. He only gets better looking as time goes on. It's also interesting to compare Elaine Stritch, who appears in both productions. I have the recording of that concert (also from the music library). The DVD is of course merely a nice supplement to that excellent recording.

Salome wrote:
I own and love both of them. The only disapointment I have is that in the Follies DVD, you don't see the whole concert after going through the whole process.

The concert of Follies that became the Follies in Concert album and DVD were an important project, but it falls short for me in being in any way a definitive reading of the score - which is partly what it was aiming to be. The rehearsal process is certainly the most interesting part of the broadcast version. Sondheim, as usual, proves to be endlessly insightful about his work and it is super to see the company members come to terms with the material, to watch their preparation process and see how the performers differ from each other in their approach to the material.

I don't really mind that one doesn't get to see the whole concert: firstly, the performances are preserved on the CD set (which, more importantly, includes the Stavisky film score) and, secondly, the performances often leave something to be desired. Barbara Cook turns in a performance that is more Barbara Cook than it is Sally, interpreted rather than characterised, which is fine considering that this is a concert - but she performs the same material far better elsewhere. Mandy Patinkin substitutes energy for depth; his performance is about himself, not Buddy. Liliane Montevecchi is a complete disaster.

On the other hand, there are things that work really well: George Hearn's "Live, Laugh, Love" leading into the climactic sequence is handled well as Lee Remick's Phyllis. Elaine Stritch delivers a funny and touching "Broadway Baby" and Betty Comden and Adolph Green's "Rain on the Roof" is just sweet and lovely. There's also Carol Burnett's reading of "I'm Still Here", which I'm not sure would work in the context of a full production, but certainly works in the concert setting.

But ultimately all exist in the shadow of the original Broadway cast. It's such a pity that the OBC recording was so poorly done; to have that cast performing the numbers they created and owned in full would have been ideal. This is a 'second best' and I suppose I shouldn't be as hard on it as I am simply for that reason, but that's what it will always be for me. Follies, which is one of the greatest Broadway musicals in the musical theatre canon, has never been as good as it was during its initial run with its original cast.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:20 am
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Post Re: "Company" Cast Recording/Follies in Concert DVDs!
That Company DVD seems quite hard to find for a decent price :(.


Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:12 pm
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