Original 1995 Broadway Cast

Company [1995 Broadway Revival Cast]

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While one reason it took 25 years for Company to return to Broadway is that its main subject matter, the swinging singles scene, as well as such side matters as dope smoking, seemed dated, the biggest one is that the show's initial production, as well as its cast album seemed definitive. Actually, Company was more dated in 1970 than it is today: when the hippies were hip, its focus on a short-haired, middle-aged urban bachelor wasn't, you know, relevant. Today the show seems timeless, and its theme, basically the fear of romantic commitment, is one of the dominant issues of the culture. Of course, when it comes to recordings, the other problem remains paramount. If the first recording was definitive, why do we need another one? Well, we don't, actually, but that's not to say this one isn't well-done. Boyd Gaines, who suffered such throat problems that he missed half the performances of the revival's limited run, is fine as the uncertain lead, Robert, at least the equal of the original's Dean Jones (who also didn't spend much time on-stage, come to think of it). Debra Monk has the thankless task of playing Joanne, a role forever owned by Elaine Stritch, but she finds her way through "The Ladies Who Lunch" nevertheless. Indeed, the cast in general is strong. The only real quibbles concern the decisions made by the creative team, first to include the cut song "Marry Me a Little" (originally replaced by closing song, "Being Alive"), which doesn't really fit, and second by diluting the impact of the biting "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" by substituting the word "gay" for the original's "fag," another example of the onerous impact of political correctness.

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