Favourite song from Stephen Sondheim's Company

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

There are not many Stephen Sondheim threads on ilx

Poll Results

"Another Hundred People" — Marta 4
"Being Alive" — Robert 3
"Sorry-Grateful" — Harry, David and Larry 2
"You Could Drive a Person Crazy" — Kathy, April and Marta 1
"Barcelona" — Robert and April 1
"Someone Is Waiting" — Robert 1
"The Ladies Who Lunch" — Joanne 0
"Tick-Tock" — Kathy (Instrumental) 0
"Poor Baby" — Wives 0
"Side by Side by Side"/"What Would We Do Without You?" — Robert and Couples 0
"Marry Me a Little" — Robert 0
"Getting Married Today" — Amy, Paul, Jenny and Company 0
"Have I Got A Girl for You" — Larry, Peter, Paul, David, Harry 0
"The Little Things You Do Together" — Joanne and Couples 0
"Company" — Robert and Company 0

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:56 (ten years ago) link

One of my favorite Sondheim's. "The Ladies Who Lunch" is the obvious one, but I need to think for a bit. I really like "Getting Married Today" too.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:58 (ten years ago) link

I've never heard all of "Company." I could do a "Follies" poll.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:59 (ten years ago) link

The 2006 Broadway revival is on youtube here
I think the soundtrack album of this is the best after the orginal.

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:04 (ten years ago) link

Raul Esparza is so perfect in this.

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:06 (ten years ago) link

Favourite Song from Stephen Sondheim's Company: The Fall 2013 GAYLXORS Thread

bad bad disco (Eazy), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:11 (ten years ago) link

Broadway revival is also on Netflix instant streaming (or at least, it used to be) and is well worth the watch.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:15 (ten years ago) link

"another hundred people"!

red sobule (get bent), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:54 (ten years ago) link

between the 2006 "company" and the 2005 "sweeney todd," that was an amazing time for sondheim revivals on broadway.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 20:58 (ten years ago) link

Both John Doyle directing?

bad bad disco (Eazy), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:07 (ten years ago) link

Sorry-Grateful. it has such a melancholy melody, love the lyrics.

obv "Being Alive" is the gravitas ballad but I mean "Sorry-Grateful" is what I come back to.

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:07 (ten years ago) link

I think I'd pick Another Hundred People as my favourite, especially Pamela Myers' version from the original cast recording... I'm not so keen on any of the versions I've heard sung by other people, they all seem go kind of shrill on the 'Did you get my message/'Cause I looked in Vain' part. I think I read somewhere that Sondheim wrote the song specifically for Myers?
Also, did young Pamela Myers look a lot like Lena Dunham, or are these two photos misleading?



that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:20 (ten years ago) link

Both John Doyle directing?

yes, and both fantastic.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 23:21 (ten years ago) link

"getting married today" I think

combination hair (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:29 (ten years ago) link

I've only heard the versions of these on Side by Side by Sondheim - are they the originals or different?

not some dude poking a Line 6 pedal with his dick (sarahell), Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:32 (ten years ago) link

I think Side by Side by Sondheim combines some of the songs from Company into a medley? The poll was not meant to be for any particular recording of Company, though, just favourite songs.

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:39 (ten years ago) link

"Getting Married Today" is some insane diction calisthenics

Neanderthal, Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:42 (ten years ago) link

“Why / Watch me die / Like Eliza on the ice? / Look, perhaps / I’ll collapse, / in the apse / right before you all.” Though the Uncle Tom’s Cabin reference may fly by too quickly, and the word apse might cause confusion or be mistaken for “abs,” Sondheim uses a catalog of references to literature to terrific effect in A Little Night Music.

Why would you mistake it for abs? How can you collapse in the abs?

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:42 (ten years ago) link

I'd never seen this before today, but there's a fantastic documentary about the recording of the original cast recording of Company here on youtube

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:56 (ten years ago) link

I've only heard the versions of these on Side by Side by Sondheim - are they the originals or different?

those are all different versions, performed anew for the "side by side" revue.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:56 (ten years ago) link

Has anyone here ever been in a production of Company?

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:10 (ten years ago) link

I've always meant to get into Company. I think I listened to the soundtrack on Spotify about a year ago, but I don't remember much of it. I'm tempted to vote for "Side by Side by Side," but only since I sang it as part of a performance during college-orientation week.

What's the one with "Bobby, come on over for dinner" -- the title track?

My Sondheim jam is A Little Night Music, btw.

Geoffrey Schweppes (jaymc), Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:18 (ten years ago) link

i love this musical. i love almost all sondheim stuff actually. we should poll all his plays.

Mordy , Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:23 (ten years ago) link

i pretty much rate it as
Being Alive > Sorry-Grateful > The Ladies Who Lunch > Getting Married Today > You Could Drive a Person Crazy > The Little Things You Do Together > Someone is Waiting > Side by Side by Side > Have I Got a Girl For You > Company > Another Hundred People > Barcelona > Poor Baby > Tick-Tock > Marry Me a Little

Mordy , Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:25 (ten years ago) link

blow out the candles and make a wish. want something. want something.

Mordy , Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:31 (ten years ago) link

Oh this is impossible. "Another Hundred People," I guess, but "Sorry-Grateful" is one of the most accurate and harshest songs about marriage ever. "Little Things" is magnificent wordplay, and so on. Only song I don't care for is "Poor Baby."

col, Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:33 (ten years ago) link

even tho i voted being alive i'm happy sorry-grateful is getting a lot of love. always felt really insightful to me.

Mordy , Thursday, 12 September 2013 13:35 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:01 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:01 (ten years ago) link


I thought this was interesting

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Saturday, 28 September 2013 23:37 (ten years ago) link

Do you think Company has a 'gay aesthetic', in the sense that it is an outsider's perspective on hetro marriage? I was thinking that the lyrics to What Would We Do Without You? could almost be about someone chafing at a constricting role as a neutered'gay best friend':
What would we do without you?
How would we ever get through?
Who sends anniversary wishes?
Who helps with the dishes
And never says boo?
Who changes subjects on cue?
Who cheers us up when we're blue?
Who is a flirt, but never a threat,
Reminds us of our birthdays which we always forget?

Maybe this is only because I know Sondheim is gay, and this is reductive way to look at it, idk

that is how ghosts laugh (bends), Saturday, 28 September 2013 23:42 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

a version w/ NPH, jon cryer + steven colbert is showing on pbs right now. i didn't even know such a thing existed

Mordy , Saturday, 9 November 2013 02:40 (ten years ago) link

I believe they are doing a reconfigured-as-gay production somewhere soon

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 9 November 2013 02:45 (ten years ago) link

colbert can't really sing. i don't remember a lot of the non-music parts (i most recently watched it w/ raul esparza). i wonder if it's new material or i just forget.

Mordy , Saturday, 9 November 2013 02:46 (ten years ago) link

Just watched this. Oh hey there's a Sondheim musical that is actually about my life? Yikes!

polyphonic, Saturday, 9 November 2013 21:53 (ten years ago) link

oklahoma is on great performances tnite! yay pbs

Mordy , Saturday, 16 November 2013 02:13 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

some genius has just put Sondheim's 'Inside The Actor's Studio' up on youtube. a thing of beauty and a joy forever


piscesx, Monday, 13 February 2017 21:54 (seven years ago) link

can't believe Ladies Who Lunch got 0 votes -- that is the best.

sarahell, Monday, 13 February 2017 23:13 (seven years ago) link

yes i was just marveling over the same thing. def deserved some votes. above i rated it as the 3rd best from the musical.

Mordy, Monday, 13 February 2017 23:26 (seven years ago) link

don't understand what ppl see in another hundred people which is okay but not imo near the heights of company

Mordy, Monday, 13 February 2017 23:27 (seven years ago) link

Ladies who Lunch and Getting Married Today are the best two imo

sarahell, Monday, 13 February 2017 23:34 (seven years ago) link


Mordy, Monday, 13 February 2017 23:40 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

I highly recommend getting stoned and listening to the original broadway cast recording of company on headphones. and then doing the same with pacific overtures...

J. Sam, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 14:39 (five years ago) link

five months pass...
nine months pass...

I just watched the cast recording documentary by Pennebaker, which just hit the Criterion Channel. Why did they have to do the whole thing in one night? Did Steve lose a bet?

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 June 2020 17:44 (four years ago) link

IIRC, a lot of studio cast albums are done that way on a day/night the show is black early in the run.

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 11 June 2020 18:10 (four years ago) link

well they had to get Stritch to come back anyway in the end

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 June 2020 19:12 (four years ago) link

I've played for a few revues that did songs from the show, but my first time actually seeing it staged was last year, when a friend of mine played April in a community production at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in New Hampshire. For reasons that I don't fully understand (although I have some suspicions), the music was reduced to piano two hands, performed on a concert grand on stage. They also made Amy and Paul a gay couple, and the guy playing Amy/Jamie (also a friend of mine) couldn't sing, but got the manic energy down perfectly.

Revolutionary Girl Utrenja (Tom Violence), Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:54 (four years ago) link

I love the pennebaker film and I watch this so frequently on youtube, or at least the highlights. the original cast recording is definitely the best version. Another Hundred People/You could drive a person crazy/Ladies who lunch all definitive versions. The deranged andrews sisters harmonies on you could drive a person crazy should literally pierce your eardrums and this is the only version that really goes for that (the 1996 London version gives pretty good as well) by contrast, Another Hundred people is so demanding and no other singer I know of has managed to avoid sounding too shrieking or strident or to balance the pathos, cynicism and romanticism in the lyrics - most settle for one register and battle through it. The film really gets across something very particular about the musical - its damp griminess; ugly, overdecorated park avenue apartments, synthetic fibres, midtown pianobars. The apalling makeup, the producer with the neckerchief. Sondheim is not at all handsome (I think he looks good in photographs from the period) and seems really slimey and imperious but also derangedly exacting and so identified with Bobby and Dean jones a brilliantly empty realisation of the character - but imagine anthony perkins (who was originally cast but dropped out during rehearsals), who I think could have brought out a nastiness in the character that the most anodyne productions gloss over. Nastiness is key to sondheim in general and Company in particular.

plax (ico), Sunday, 21 June 2020 09:13 (four years ago) link

omg, how did I miss this? This is one of my favorite musicals!

"Being Alive" is too easy a choice, it's a song that speaks to me personally enough that I've performed it in public multiple times, but...I generally don't like to listen to it outside the show, because it's much more stirring when you get through the 2 hours of build-up to it.

I think "Sorry-Grateful" is my fav. love the melody and the lyrics.

I want to be in this when theater resumes. probably not as Bobby, that's already (kind of) my name and also it'll be kind of a mid-life crisis role.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Sunday, 21 June 2020 14:58 (four years ago) link

Okay, so does anyone know what other famous (or well-known, at least) TV or Film theme uses it prominently? It's making me a bit crazy.

Maresn3st, Monday, 15 November 2021 16:03 (two years ago) link

I originally thought it was one of these - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztpraz85asA

Maresn3st, Monday, 15 November 2021 16:04 (two years ago) link

Tempted to start referring to one poster as "Bobby Bubi" but am resisting the govnaming instinct for now.

Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:11 (two years ago) link

Also seeing some intriguing stuff about Sweeney Todd and the "Herrmann chord."

Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:12 (two years ago) link


Maresn3st, Monday, 15 November 2021 16:31 (two years ago) link

Good stuff, thanks.

Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:58 (two years ago) link

This thread is colliding with In every 70s US home ever for a serious time instability/anomaly.

Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:39 (two years ago) link

And the brown and the beige and the brown and the beige and the brown ...

Milm & Foovies (Eric H.), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:45 (two years ago) link

very tied with follies for best sondheim musical and obviously both drenched in 70s divorce misery and paranoia

plax (ico), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:48 (two years ago) link

Captain Fantastic and the Brown and Beige Cowboy.

Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:51 (two years ago) link

I did wonder about the value of a thread that itemised the tropes, themes, and details of that upper-middle-class 70s NYC diaspora, or I could just leaf through my New Yorker Magazine coffee table book.

Maresn3st, Monday, 15 November 2021 21:26 (two years ago) link


Exploding Plastic Bertrand (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 November 2021 21:30 (two years ago) link

I liked the joke at Strich's expense.

Still down the Company rabbit hole this week, Seth Rudetsky's deconstruction videos are addicting.

In one he goes into great detail about the title song's big 'We Loooooooooooooove You' bit and how Elaine boldly sings a half step flat and then just ducks out a full 10 seconds before everyone else, gloriously dgaf and cannot be unheard.

I was wondering if Joni Mitchell was a fan of SS, there are so many parallels there between Company and 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns'

Maresn3st, Thursday, 18 November 2021 02:36 (two years ago) link


Duck and Sally Can't Dance (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 26 November 2021 22:07 (two years ago) link

rip :(

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 26 November 2021 22:39 (two years ago) link

Damn :(

Maresn3st, Friday, 26 November 2021 23:21 (two years ago) link

I chose, and my world was shaken
So what?
The choice may have been mistaken
The choosing was not

You have to move on


J. Sam, Friday, 26 November 2021 23:49 (two years ago) link

A legend, my favorite musical composer :(

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 26 November 2021 23:57 (two years ago) link

Any film list with both Elephant and The Elephant Man on it is OK by me

About 15 years ago, Stephen Sondheim was asked by The Sondheim Review to make a list of his favorite movies. It's a really fascinating and eclectic list - I don't think I've even seen half of them - but a lot of my favorite films are on there too. pic.twitter.com/hV7dVUqu1e

— Jeremy Fassler (@J_fassler) November 27, 2021

Alba, Saturday, 27 November 2021 07:37 (two years ago) link

Elephant? Alan Clarke?

Duck and Sally Can't Dance (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 November 2021 09:57 (two years ago) link

The other one

Nu-panique schnizzle (wins), Saturday, 27 November 2021 10:13 (two years ago) link

Gus Van Sant school shooting movie.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 27 November 2021 14:14 (two years ago) link

(which is a more-or-less-remake of the Clarke film)

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Saturday, 27 November 2021 15:15 (two years ago) link

This is a pretty fascinating detail - Sondheim almost quit musicals in 1981 to work on video games instead, and was a big fan of Myst

This was real. Steve loved video games and took them seriously as an art form. Especially adventure games—an extension of his love of math and puzzles and, later on, escape rooms, which he and his partner Jeff really crushed. We talked about his love of Myst a lot over the years. https://t.co/fJMUH5nxx4

— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 27, 2021

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:01 (two years ago) link

it is super interesting to me that ILM is utterly disengaged from the death of this man…just a few posts since his universally lamented passing…
but maybe someone steeped in broadway/musical theatre, which I performed in as a kid but foreswore for the kinds of music that ILM concerns itself with, and which I have since strongly disliked, can help me out here…my impression is that Sondheim changed broadway/musical theatre, what, several times over? Who else pushed musical theatre forward during his lifetime? myself and every other ILMnik can go all day long talking about hundreds of artists who changed R&B, rock and roll, country, hip hop, electronic music and on and on… but I struggle to name Sondheim's artistic peers…
like, Lloyd Webber is younger, but did he introduce formal innovations? I am wondering if this paucity could be down to musical theatre being possibly more risk averse than almost any other american, or rather, popular idiom? Like, almost any other idiom has relatively infinite amounts of flexibility…for musical theatre to succeed and to later enter the popular consciousness over the past 50 years, there has to be such ironclad fealty to formula as to make the pop craftsmanship that ILMniks tend to valorize seem like alvin Lucier or some shit…
I so dislike broadway that hamilton annoys the shit out of me…I do think that LMN deserves credit for bringing something new to musical theatre (and is he the first one to do so since Sondheim?) but I can't stand the goddamn thing…

veronica moser, Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:31 (two years ago) link

FWIW, Alex in Montreal is a Sondheim superfan (as I've discovered via Twitter), but he hasn't posted on ILM over a year.

I'd guess Jonathan Larson would be considered influential between Sondheim and LMM.

jaymc, Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:45 (two years ago) link

my partner has been super down about this

the video game thing is a shock

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 2 December 2021 21:45 (two years ago) link


tvod+ (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 December 2021 15:17 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

definitely thinking of heading to NYC in 2022 for the gender-swapped version with Katrina Lenk - she was marvelous in The Band's Visit

― Feta Van Cheese (Neanderthal)

I saw this last night. Will maybe write a longer post about it soon but Katrina Lenk was indeed magnificent and her interpretation of 'Being Alive' had me weeping uncontrollably. The gender reversals mostly felt pretty seamless during the show. It wasn't until i got home listened to the original cast recording that i realized how *necessary* it is to present the show this way.

Patti Lupone was great on 'The Little Things' but her 'Ladies who Lunch' wasn't nearly grizzled enough, Elaine Stritch still defines that role for me.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 3 February 2022 16:38 (two years ago) link

Cool. I just found out about this weird unproduced Sondheim project, a musical version of The Jet-Propelled Couch.

Tapioca Tumbril (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 3 February 2022 22:17 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

i can't find a better thread to update about this, but the current revival of into the woods is utterly dope

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 September 2022 18:38 (one year ago) link

Wrong thread perhaps but did anyone see the version of Follies at the National in London? It played also in UK cinemas as a live broadcast and was streaming supposedly and may well be again (I saw an ad somewhere or other..). Damn I’d really love to see it.

piscesx, Thursday, 15 September 2022 19:25 (one year ago) link

Belatedly, I think the right song won this one

Bait Kush (Eric H.), Thursday, 15 September 2022 20:52 (one year ago) link

It really did.

I had the Blu-Ray of the documentary in my hand today, gonna give it another watch this week.

MaresNest, Thursday, 15 September 2022 21:02 (one year ago) link

Some of you may know this but there's an incredibly comprehensive (and really quite entertaining) Sondheim podcast called 'Putting It Together', in which they go through *every song* one by one for at least an hour, plus adjacent interviews, it's kinda amazing.

Here is the start of the season they dedicated to Company


MaresNest, Wednesday, 28 September 2022 12:16 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

This is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life pic.twitter.com/FQiXwYAfeY

— the tweeter fka LuxuryTrash™ (@2trash4luxury) November 18, 2022

three months pass...
seven months pass...

Belatedly, I think the right song won this one
― Bait Kush (Eric H.), Thursday, September 15, 2022 3:52 PM (one year ago)

Even more belatedly, I now realize the magnificence of "Marry Me a Little."

Dwigt Rortugal (Eric H.), Wednesday, 15 November 2023 15:21 (eight months ago) link

Sort of crazy how aggressively pro-marriage this show is.

Dwigt Rortugal (Eric H.), Wednesday, 15 November 2023 15:24 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

Larry Kert is The Bootleg Bobby

O Fundo Escuro de (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 02:04 (five months ago) link

I usually switch it off before his rendition of Being Alive but sometimes I don't and I make it as far as "crowd me with love" where he growls then swallows the 'v' and then I switch it off.

O Fundo Escuro de (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 02:05 (five months ago) link


O Fundo Escuro de (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 02:12 (five months ago) link

somebody force me to care

O Fundo Escuro de (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 02:13 (five months ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.