23 Nov

Raúl Esparza stars in this 2006 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy recorded live for PBS’s “Great Performances” and featuring the classics “Side by Side by Side,” “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Another Hundred People.” Celebrating his 35th birthday among married friends, swinging Manhattan bachelor Bobby (Esparza) considers the value of a committed relationship. John Doyle directs this celebrated production. (Netflix)

So, Ball State did this show last semester, and I liked it, I mean, I’m not a major fan of Sondheim, but it definitely isn’t the worst musical ever written. So, I love Raul Esparza, and I have heard of this concept revival before, so when I saw it online, I decided to see it. Now, the concept for this show is extremely minimalistic, so minimalistic in fact, that there is no orchestra pit because the actors are the ones playing all of the instruments. That in itself was highly impressive to memorize not only the complicated libretto, but the score as well is no easy feat, and they were fantastic at it. All the voices were fantastic as well, blending seamlessly together. The bobbyBobbyBOBBYbobrobert thing (if you’ve seen the musical, you know what I mean) was still annoying, but no amount of talent is going to make that part bearable. Anywho, I feel like you kinda had to see the show previously or at least know the show in order to fully understand this production, or at least, that would make it more enjoyable. Because there are certain production choices in this (like the set being just a piano, a column, and three clear boxes) that you have to make assumptions about in regards to the storyline, where in a traditional production, it’s laid out right there in front of you. The one thing that did bug me though was that there is a lot of drinks in this show, and a few instances of food. But in this production, it was all pantomime. Glasses without drinks in them, plates without brownies on them, bah just get some freaking food! But overall, I enjoyed this production, especially the use of instruments and the voices. So, not bad. 🙂

6.5/10 (The extra .5 is for Raul Esparza’s version of “Being Alive” amazing.)

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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


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