Company — with Esparza — to Make PBS Debut in February 2008

News   Company — with Esparza — to Make PBS Debut in February 2008 The acclaimed actor-musician revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company — directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle — will be broadcast on PBS stations around the country in February 2008.
Company, starring Ra
Company, starring Ra Photo by Paul Kolnik

The broadcast, according to the 2007-2008 "Great Performances" season brochure, is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2008.

PBS' "Great Performances" series teamed with producer Ellen M. Krass, whose credits include the televised concerts of Follies and Sweeney Todd, to film two performances of the Sondheim musical during its Broadway run.

Company, which starred the Tony-nominated Raul Esparza as the confused bachelor Bobby, ended its run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre July 1. Company played 34 previews and 247 performances. The revival began previews Oct. 29, 2006, and opened on Nov. 29 at the Barrymore on W. 47th Street. It began at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in spring 2006, and commercial producers of Broadway's 2005-06 Sweeney Todd swooped in.

This Company won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Revival of a Musical.

The cast also included Barbara Walsh as Joanne; Keith Buterbaugh as Harry; Matt Castle as Peter; Robert Cunningham as Paul; Angel Desai as Marta; Kelly Jeanne Grant as Kathy; Kristin Huffman as Sarah; Amy Justman as Susan; Heather Laws as Amy; Leenya Rideout as Jenny; Fred Rose as David; Bruce Sabath as Larry; and Elizabeth Stanley as April. Mary-Mitchell Campbell won a Drama Desk Award for the production's fresh orchestrations. The PS Classics cast album was just nominated for a Grammy Award.

The original production of Company opened on Broadway at the Alvin (now the Neil Simon) Theatre on April 26, 1970. The musical garnered 14 Tony Award nominations (the record until The Producers in 2001), winning six, including Best Musical.

Also of interest to theatre fans is the upcoming "Great Performances" presentation of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which stars Tony winners Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald. Mahagonny is set to air Dec. 17, 2007.

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