Company: Original Cast Album
This holy grail for both documentary and theater aficionados offers a tantalizingly rare glimpse behind the Broadway curtain. In 1970, right after the triumphant premiere of Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking concept musical Company, the renowned composer and lyricist, his director Harold Prince, the show's stars and a large pit orchestra all went into a Manhattan recording studio as part of a time-honored Broadway tradition: the making of the original cast album. What ensued was a marathon session in which, with the pressures of posterity and the coolly exacting Sondheim's perfectionism hanging over them, all involved pushed themselves to the limit - including theater legend Elaine Stritch, who fought anxiety and exhaustion to record her iconic rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch." With thrilling immediacy, legendary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker offers an up-close view of the larger-than-life personalities, frayed-nerve energy and explosive creative intensity that go into capturing the magic of live performance.
Special features include a new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by Chris Hegedus and Nate Pennebaker, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; a new audio commentary by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim; audio commentary from 2001 featuring director D. A. Pennebaker, actor Elaine Stritch and Broadway producer and director Harold Prince; a new conversation among Sondheim, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick and critic and television producer Frank Rich; a new interview with Tunick on the art of orchestrating, conducted by author Ted Chapin; never-before-heard audio excerpts from interviews with Stritch and Prince, conducted by D. A. Pennebaker and Hegedus in 2001; Original Cast Album: Co-Op, a 2019 episode of the TV series Documentary Now! that parodies the film; English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; plus an essay by author Mark Harris.