TV: KEEPING COMPANY WITH SONDHEIM (Part of the Great Performances Spring Lineup on PBS, May 13 -27, 2022)

Post image for TV: KEEPING COMPANY WITH SONDHEIM (Part of the Great Performances Spring Lineup on PBS, May 13 -27, 2022)

by Gregory Bernard on May 4, 2022

in Theater-New York,TV


As part of the series’ fifth Broadway’s Best lineup, Great Performances presents a new documentary exploring the legacy of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company, (see Stage and Cinema‘s review). Filmed over two years, the broadcast takes an inside look at director Marianne Elliott’s creative process of bringing the reimagined gender-swapped production to Broadway during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a cast including Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone. Featuring rehearsal and performance footage, plus new interviews with Elliott, Lenk, LuPone, Sondheim, and members of the original 1970 cast, Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim, premieres on PBS, Broadway on PBS and the PBS Video app.

The Great Performances spring lineup — Fridays, May 13-27 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS — includes the West End revival of Cole Porter’s classic musical Anything Goes, (the same one that streamed in theaters recently) featuring Sutton Foster and Robert Lindsay (Friday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET); Merry Wives, recorded live from The Delacorte Theater marking the return of The Public Theater’s beloved Free Shakespeare in the Park following the COVID-19 shutdown (Friday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS); and Keeping Company with Sondheim(Friday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS).

After a critically acclaimed 2018 London run, Company was headed to Broadway when its originally planned March 2020 opening was suspended due to the pandemic. On December 9, 2021, the show finally opened on Broadway – two weeks after Sondheim’s unexpected passing on November 26. “Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim” (w.t.) tells the story of the show’s 1970 Broadway debut in a city on the verge of bankruptcy to its reimagination 50 years later as both Broadway and New York City emerge from one of the greatest crises they have ever faced. As audiences return to the unique shared experience of live theater, Company – with its famously ambiguous exploration of love, connection, and marriage in New York City – endures as a seminal work to explore Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical theater legacy as well as the social and cultural upheavals that paralleled its reopening.

Throughout its nearly 50-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six Peabody Awards. The Great Performances website hosts exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group.

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