Company: A Musical Comedy (Image Entertainment Blu-ray)
Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C Main Program: B
musical continues to make a comeback, it still means reinventing it every time
out and Stephen Sondheim has (with director John Doyle and George Firth)
deliver one of the most interesting yet with Company: A Musical Comedy now on Blu-ray from a 2007 HD recording
for public television. A big, pleasant
surprise and even throwback to the sophistication of the kind of realistic
“polite society” plays and TV shows you used to see in the 1970s (Hot L Baltimore, Mary Tyler Moore TV cycle) with as much humor and wit as possible.
not seen anything like this in a long time and I am very surprised this has not
received more mainstream critical acclaim, until I realize just how smart and
clever the whole affair really is. Well,
it turns out this is a revival of a 1970 hit by producer Harold Prince from a
period when the economy was richer, a job could be a career at one company and
pulls together 11 acts into one 132 minutes long work here that is worth
revisiting and then some.
how good or groundbreaking the original was, this version is as full of energy,
chemistry and talent as you could ask for.
I can see why this revival was so successful and it is terrific that you
can get this on Blu-ray. If you liked
the films and Blu-rays of Dreamgirls,
Chicago and Hairspray, you’ll definitely want to add this to your collection.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is a consistent HD shoot, though it can
be too soft throughout and have some minor background noise troubles, but it is
a good looking shoot of the stage just the same. The DTS HD Master Audio (MA) Lossless 5.1 mix
is better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and even offers more than the
competent PCM 2.0 Stereo, but is not the epitome of what this format can
do. Nevertheless, it is clean and clear
enough, both combining to deliver decent if not spectacular playback. Extras include “An Audience With Stephen Sondheim” and video interviews with
director Doyle and star Raul Esparza.
- Nicholas Sheffo