The best thing that ever happened to Stephen Sondheim (other than being born a genius) was the advent of the scaled-down revivals that have made it possible in recent years for ambitious regional theater companies to mount his complex musicals without busting their budgets beyond hope of repair. Not only are they introducing his shows to a generation of viewers too young to have seen the original Broadway productions, but the best of them have changed the way that older viewers see those shows. No sooner do you strip away the big-budget trappings than it becomes evident that Mr. Sondheim’s musicals have far more in common with the hard-edged life studies of Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams than with “My Fair Lady” or “South Pacific.” To see the Lyric Stage Company of Boston’s small-scale revival of “Company,” directed with comprehensive understanding by Spiro Veloudos, is to come away with a much clearer sense of just how serious Sondheim and his collaborators are—and how unnervingly close to the emotional knuckle “Company” continues to cut 46 years after it was first seen on Broadway.
Here’s a look behind the scenes with the always fabulous costume designer Rafael Jaen.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the playgoing staff has never regarded “Company” as one of Sondheim’s more appealing efforts. Then again, Terry Teachout is a lot smarter than we are.
So go already.