Sondheim specialist Paul Gemignani conducts Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations arranged for a 35-piece orchestra. Lonny Price, who directed SONDHEIM! The Birthday Concert on Great Performances, directs; Josh Rhodes is the choreographer. Ellen M. Krass produced this concert production for broadcast.
Set in a swinging New York City evocative of the time of the show’s 1970 Broadway debut, Company follows perennial bachelor Robert (Harris) on the occasion of his 35th birthday as his five married couple friends gather to celebrate and offer varying degrees of relationship advice. Their interactions are presented in a series of vignettes, primarily through Robert’s eyes. The show’s many Sondheim standards include “Company,” “Side by Side by Side,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Another Hundred People,” “Barcelona” and “Being Alive.” In assessing the performance, Stephen Holden in The New York Times praised “the suave, dynamically subtle contribution of the mighty Philharmonic” as well as “the witty musical staging.”