Monday, September 12, 2011
Company at the Cineplex
With shockingly little rehearsal time and no real dress rehearsal, the company of Company displayed such remarkable talent and professional know-how that their simple (but still very much full) staging appeared polished and easy. And despite a few non-singers in the cast (the delightful Steven Colbert, Jon Cryer and Christina Hendricks- all hired for charisma, comedy chops and star power), the performances were as refined as those of actors given months to tweak.
My TV Award nominee in 2010, Plimpton pulls talent after talent out of her bag of tricks and the hilarious triple threat was at her best as Sarah, my favourite of Bobby's married friends. The adorable Katie Finneran was also spectacular as the frazzled soon-to-be-wed Amy. Her lightning fast delivery of "Getting Married Today" was perfection. Chryssie Whitehead was an adorable but grounded Kathy and Anika Noni Rose was an excellent Marta, absolutely nailing her great solo "Another Hundred People". As for the men, Craig Bieko never ceases to amaze me with his multitude of talents, Jim Walton made for a surprisingly sweet Larry and I was blown away by Aaron Lazar's vocals as Paul. Then, of course, there was one Ms. Patti LuPone. Now I've always known she's a Broadway legend (and Rachel Berry won't let me forget it), but I mostly know LuPone from little things like her outstanding guest role on Ugly Betty as Marc's mother. It wasn't until Company that I ever got just how sensational she is. As the tricky Joanne, LuPone laid down a version of the sometimes boring "Ladies Who Lunch" that was completely unforgettable. The woman is a legend, and I now understand the reason.
Here's to the the NY Philharmonic for thinking to put all those brilliant ingredients into a single recipe, because a piece like Company really does deserve a company that good.