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December 9, 2021

But let’s face it, the revival that opened on Thursday night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater is not the “Company” Sondheim and the book writer George Furth (along with the director Hal Prince) unleashed on Broadway in 1970. Sure, the score remains great, and there are a few perfectly etched performances in supporting roles, especially Patti LuPone’s as the undermining, pickled Joanne.

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December 9, 2021

Marianne Elliott’s production pulls these complex elements together with dazzling success. When it comes to favorite Sondheim shows, I have never been a Company man; though I love the original cast recording, the show’s approach to dating has tended to strike me as dated. But this production has brought me around. In fact—setting Gypsy and West Side Story aside, since Sondheim only wrote their lyrics—I will say this: I think Elliott’s Company is the most satisfying Broadway revival of a Sondheim show in history.

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December 9, 2021

If there’s a better, more vital way to honor the late, incomparable Stephen Sondheim than Marianne Elliott’s superb production of CompanyBroadway hasn’t invented it. This gorgeous revival of the Sondheim-George Furth masterwork at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, is, from across-the-board excellent performances and thoughtful revisions to the visual delight of a lovely and ingeniously clever set design, a gift both to and from the genius we lost last month.

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December 9, 2021

Half a century has passed since Stephen Sondheim and George Furth first dazzled Broadway with “Company,” their tartly astute 1970 musical about a single Manhattanite dogged by coupled friends to meet a mate. But director Marianne Elliott’s sensational new revival strikes like a lightning bolt, surging with fresh electricity and burnishing its creators’ legacy with an irresistible sheen. It’s silly and sophisticated, intimate and in-tune with the currents of modern life, brilliantly conceived and funny as hell. “Company” is the best of what Broadway has to offer adult theatergoers: a playful slap, an honest tickle and one of the 20th century’s greatest musicals gorgeously realized — and refined — to reflect the moment.

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December 9, 2021

“Being alive,” indeed. The recent death of Stephen Sondheim undoubtedly marked a watershed moment in the history of the American theater, as the innumerable tributes and memorials to the composer-lyricist and his work attest. But for vital proof that Sondheim is, in a metaphorical sense, still with us, and just as pertinent as ever, look no further than the absolutely dazzling Broadway revival of “Company” at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

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December 16, 2021

It’s never a good thing when the only praise you have for the central performer in the revival of a groundbreaking musical is, “She’s very pretty.” Unfortunately, that, and a pleasant voice, are all that Katrina Lenk brings to her performance as the cipher, Bobbie, in this otherwise marvelous revival of Company.

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December 9, 2021

In the end, this Company is resilient too. If the production isn’t thinking carefully, at least the songs still are. In the weeks since Sondheim’s death, there have been reams of beautiful writing about him, but still, the most precise tributes come from his performers. LuPone is not just a showstopper here, not just a gravitational force, not just a plummy, hammy delight, dressed (by Bunny Christie) in a fur coat as subtle and spherical as a Hostess Sno Ball. She’s also an ideal expositor of the maestro’s work. “It’s the little things you do together,” LuPone’s Joanne crackles, rolling her eyes at the tackiness of couplehood, “that make perfect relationships.” Don’t worry about the existential stuff, Joanne advises us, there’s plenty to hold people together without worrying about the big ideas. And so it is here. Song by song by song, it’s enough. The little things they sing together still make Sondheim a joy.

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New York Theater
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Jonathan
Mandell

December 9, 2021

“Company” is perfectly timed, sadly. Opening less than two weeks after the death of Stephen Sondheim at the age of 91, in a season delayed by more than a year and a half by the worldwide pandemic, this fourth Broadway revival of his 1970 musical couldn’t help but be emotional, thrilling, overwhelming. It is also, as it turns out, sublimely entertaining.

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Theatermania
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David
Gordon

December 9, 2021

But Elliott’s Company, which debuted several years ago on the West End and famously swaps the genders of several characters, is worth seeing for a lot of other reasons, too. Elliott has loaded her ensemble with Broadway’s funniest comic actors, including Jennifer Simard and a pair of Christophers, Sieber and Fitzgerald. “Ladies Who Lunch” is delivered to the hilt by the only contemporary actor who truly owns that song, the inimitable Patti LuPone. And the changes, some of which work really well and some of which don’t, are proof positive of Sondheim’s belief that theater is a living creature, not a series of words printed in black and white. Simply put, this is the most fun I’ve ever had at this show.

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New York Post
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Johnny
Oleksinski

December 9, 2021

Minutes into the musical “Company,” which opened Thursday night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, you’re overcome by a sensation that’s eluded the rest of this tricky theater season — that Broadway really is back. Finally, a smart, funny, human revival about the highs and lows of being alive that actually feels alive. It helps that the show by Stephen Sondheim, who died last month, is the best musical about New York City ever written.

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December 9, 2021

The highs are so high in director Marianne Elliott’s gender-reversed “Company” that a Sondheim freak like me can live with aspects that don’t quite hit those lofty heights. We’ll get to those, but first, let’s dwell for a spell on the joys of a Broadway revival that had its official opening Thursday at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre — pleasures that make this production a moving, and deeply funny, living memorial to the late Stephen Sondheim.

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Theatrely
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Juan A.
Ramirez

December 9, 2021

A miscast Bobbie aside, there is very little to complain about in this excellent production of one of Sondheim’s most dynamic works, created at a time when the writer-composer was transitioning from the Golden Age that raised him into the postmodern theatre he helped create. The gender swap is ingeniously, thoughtfully implemented and, after a year in isolation, the story’s ruminations on the necessity for aloneness, and the importance of connection hit harder than ever. I’ll drink to that.

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December 9, 2021

In essence, Elliott’s auteur production, which Sondheim personally approved, reassigns the central message of a classic, and classically ambivalent, Broadway musical to better align it with today’s progressive, self-actualizing values. Sondheim was long committed to allowing his shows to change for different generations. It’s not so different, really, from what Daniel Fish recently did on Broadway with “Oklahoma!” and it is constructed with similar expressionistic detail and narrative determination.

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December 9, 2021

Director Marianne Elliott puts the fun and the sex back into Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.” This is the production, first staged in London, where the lead character Bobby is now Bobbie. The switch from male to female works, but more important is the light, sexy touch of Elliott’s direction and how it frees the musical from the year of its world premiere, 1970. This very rousing and arousing “Company” revival opened Thursday at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

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New York Stage Review
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Elysa
Gardner

December 9, 2021

After managing to calm Matt Doyle’s adroitly hysterical Jamie, Bobbie sings “Marry Me A Little,” one of numerous Sondheim fan favorites cut from productions of his shows through the years. “Keep a tender distance/So we’ll both be free…I’m ready,” she announces. She isn’t, quite yet, but she’s getting there, just as Bobby was, and Elliott and her own company trace that journey with a mix of intuition, invention and heart worthy of its creators.

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New York Stage Review
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Melissa Rose
Bernardo

December 9, 2021

This is why changing the main character from Bobby to Bobbie works so well: The character is turning 35. “I mean, what kinds of friends would surprise you on your thirty-fifth birthday?” she asks in the first scene. That’s not such a milestone age for a man. But for a single woman—the pressure is on, especially if she wants to have children. (Unless she can afford to freeze her eggs and undergo subsequent fertility treatments…God bless modern medicine!) This also might be why the current Company will hit women—perhaps unmarried women, specifically—just a little bit harder than men.

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December 9, 2021

A year and a half later, the revival resurfaces as a rejuvenated triumph, mounted with insights both touching and stinging, and a canny understanding of the complicated mechanics of a show that takes place largely in the abstract. Elliott brings a pleasingly light touch as she guides an ensemble of top-notch New York stage regulars to hit every note of comedy and poignancy.

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Observer
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David
Cote

December 9, 2021

You might think that the pursuit of partners—for sex or relationships or lifelong nesting—would stay fairly constant between Company’s 1970 debut and the latest revival at the Jacobs Theatre. People flirt, dine, fuck, stay together, or drift apart. We haven’t evolved new organs or third eyeballs to aid in the process. Yet so much has changed in technology and ethics when it comes to dating: we are fused to phones and apps; we can’t assume an attractive stranger’s sexuality; and we triple-check consent. I wouldn’t argue that book writer George Furth and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim mapped our present datescape 52 years ago, but in director Marianne Elliott’s exuberant, re-gendered staging, material and moment have been reconciled to smashing effect. By centering this Company on women’s lives, libidos, and bodies, Elliott renews our vows of love for this enduring Sondheim masterwork.

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December 9, 2021

Just in case there is any doubt that the musicals of Stephen Sondheim (who died on Nov. 26 at the age of 91) will continue to be staged, studied, revered, and reinvented long into the future, one need only look at the meticulously reengineered, gender-reversed Broadway revival of “Company,” which originated in London in 2018 and has finally opened on Broadway after getting shut down in previews during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020.

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