LONDON — Two intriguing, elusive people I was never close to before are suddenly feeling like my new best friends. I’ve known Bobbie and Caroline for ages. Yet it now seems that I really hadn’t known them at all.
They’re so much warmer and cooler, funnier and sadder, more profound and more accessible than I recalled. The leading characters of the musicals “Company” and “Caroline, or Change” have been born again in two gloriously transformative revivals here. And they’re singing with their hearts in their throats, with the power to make grown men (well, this one, anyway) cry.
Amazing, isn’t it, what a decade or so, a trip across the ocean and the perspective afforded by distance can do?
And, oh yes, in the case of one of them, a change of gender.
You’ve perhaps heard that Bobby, an angsty bachelor of 35, has been reincarnated as Bobbie, an angsty unmarried woman of the same age, in Marianne Elliott’s enthralling revival of “Company,” Stephen Sondheim and George S. Furth’s 1970 take on the stings and sorrows of being single in swinging Manhattan. And what sounds like a gimmick turns out to be a godsend.
Starring Rosalie Craig as Bobbie, in a performance destined to redefine both a character and a career, this “Company,” at the Gielgud Theater, has emotional coherence and clout that it never possessed in my previous experiences of the show.
The same is true for Michael Longhurst’s blazing interpretation of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s “Caroline, or Change” at the Playhouse Theater. With a magnificent Sharon D. Clarke in the title role of an African-American maid in a Jewish household in Louisiana in the early 1960s, a work that might be described as a Marxist chamber opera expands in compelling ways that make it both more epic and more intimate.
“Caroline” and “Company” were always smart and imaginative shows. In these productions, their hearts have caught up with their heads.
Though a source of some classic Sondheim cabaret standards (“Being Alive,” The Ladies Who Lunch”), “Company” has shown its age in recent performances, like a Nehru jacket that its male characters might wear. In particular, its leading man, the unhappily uncommitted Bobby, felt like a cipher and even a bit of a bore, as he assessed the lives of “those good and crazy people,” his “married friends.”
Originated on Broadway by Dean Jones — whose uneasy noncommitment to portraying a commitment-phobe registers even on the original cast recording — Bobby was a bluntly drawn prototype for what would become a Sondheim staple: the romantically ambivalent hero who doesn’t know how to love.
Even etched memorably in smoldering fire and defensive ice by Raul Esparza in John Doyle’s 2006 Broadway revival, Bobby was still hard to embrace or fully understand. No wonder his girlfriends said of him — in the great, close-harmony trio “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” — that “you impersonate a person better than a zombie should.”
Those lyrics are delivered (deliciously) by three men in Ms. Elliott’s version of “Company,” as a barbed valentine to the character now named Bobbie. Though you know where they’re coming from (Bobbie is as quick to send her one-night stands packing as the male version was), you’re unlikely to agree with them.
That’s because, as played by Ms. Craig, Bobbie wears her feelings on her face — and in her long-limbed question mark of a body, and in her tender, yearning voice — in a way that the audience can always read, even if her friends and lovers can’t. Like the Bobbys of yore, she’s amused and frightened by the perilously coupled partners around her.
That double-edged response, by the way, really makes sense when one of them is played, as she is here, by Patti LuPone (in fine, penetrating voice and glowering form as Joanne, the part immortalized by Elaine Stritch). But Ms. Craig’s Bobbie radiates a longing that turns wistfulness into something close to existential anguish. No wonder she drinks so eagerly, and so much.
This revival also underscores our awareness that being a woman at 35 is still different from being a man of the same age. Bobbie enjoys her independence and her solitude in a very female way. (She’s annoyed when her dates leave the toilet seat up.) She also has alarming fantasies of motherhood, in which she sees an assortment of overstressed alter-egos pregnant or tending, exhausted, to needy newborns.
And as designed by Bunny Christie — who collaborated to dazzling effect with Ms. Elliott on the Tony-winning “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” — the latter-day Manhattan of this “Company” bears a tickling resemblance to Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Bobbi’s feelings of being odd woman out in the land the smugly married is externalized in rooms that keep changing shape and size — making her look grotesquely large, crushably small and even invisible.
That this “Company” is set, the program says, “in modern day New York” only occasionally begets anachronisms. Would a couple in the second decade of the 21st century really find smoking marijuana a forbidden novelty?
On the other hand, there’s a new, seriously affecting kinship between Bobbie and the character formerly known as Amy. The reluctant bride who sang the showstopping “Getting Married Today” has here been blissfully reconceived as reluctant gay groom, played to agitated perfection by Jonathan Bailey.
My date for “Company,” by the way, was a British woman who didn’t know the show, but had lived in New York in the 1990s, when she was in her early 30s. She marveled at how true the story felt to her own life then and said she couldn’t imagine the musical with a man in the central role.
In other words, Ms. Elliott’s reconceived “Company” is that convincing.
No similarly radical alterations have been made to “Caroline, or Change.” The libretto by Mr. Kushner (the author of the epochal “Angels in America”) remains the same tight, carefully patterned study of how an early lesson in economics left a young Southern boy with a scarring legacy of guilt.
The 8-year-old Noah Gelman (a very good Aaron Gelkoff at the performance I saw), mourning the recent loss of his mother, keeps leaving spare change in his pockets. And his stepmother (Lauren Ward) decides that the family’s maid, Caroline Thibodeaux (Ms. Clarke), whom Noah idolizes, should be allowed to keep whatever money she finds in his clothes.
From this simple plot premise, Mr. Kushner spins ever widening variations on the idea of change — personal and historical — as Caroline finds herself sandwiched between white liberal condescension and a burgeoning spirit of African-American rebellion and resistance, embodied with particular piquancy by her teenage daughter, Emmie (the excellent Abiona Omonua). Then as now, the intelligence of Mr. Kushner’s text is matched by the seamless variety of Ms. Tesori’s score, which incorporates rhythm and blues, Klezmer, gospel and folk into one shifting but seamless whole.
(Ms. Tesori is well represented in the West End season, with Shuntaro Fujita’s modest, engagingly sincere revival of her 1997 musical “Violet” at the Charing Cross Theater, with the appealing Kaisa Hammarlund in the title role — a part, if you like connecting such dots, originated in New York by Ms. Ward.)
When I first saw “Caroline” more than 15 years ago at the Public Theater — in a production directed by George C. Wolfe and starring a very fine Tonya Pinkins — I found much to admire but less to love. Its impeccably assembled elements often felt self-conscious to me, and I kept a spectator’s distance.
But Mr. Longhurst’s production — designed by Fly Davis, with lighting by Jack Knowles — elicits a common core of loneliness among the characters, while embracing the centripetal whirl that both keeps them apart and flings them into collision. A similar double vision is focused on Caroline, a struggling single mother of four who knows she’s been cheated by life, but is damned if she’s going to show it.
In Ms. Clarke’s rendering, those socially suppressed feelings churn with such intensity that it makes sense they should endow the inanimate with life. When her washer (Me’sha Bryan) and dryer (Ako Mitchell) sing to her, they’re internal voices that taunt and console. We hear the radio music she listens to through her ears, as it assumes the form of a Supremes-like trio with a Motown beat (Dujonna Gift-Simms, Tanisha Spring and Keisha Amponsa Banson).
And as the stage revolves beneath a silver-spangled moon (Angela Ceasar) crooning about flux and stasis, we sense a forward-rushing, cohesive momentum, a sense of time passing — and altering and destroying — that was absent in the original “Caroline.” It’s a force that pushes some people forward and leaves others stranded, and so bereft and isolated it breaks your heart.
These include, inevitably and tragically, Caroline. And Ms. Clarke gives final, devastating voice to this awareness in a climactic aria that seems to shake the theater’s very foundations.
Like Ms. Craig in “Company,” Ms. Clarke finds the pulsing dynamic in surface passivity. And a show I once described as “too good to be good” grows into the titanic dimensions of greatness.
2017年第67期彩霸王图【蜿】【蜿】【蜒】【蜒】，【到】【了】【嵩】【山】【之】【后】。 【只】【是】【嵩】【山】【弟】【子】【少】【了】【不】【少】，【几】【乎】【看】【不】【到】【多】【少】【年】【轻】【弟】【子】。 【恒】【空】【道】【长】【不】【着】【痕】【迹】【的】【看】【向】【清】【幻】【道】【长】【两】【人】，【传】【音】【道】：“【嵩】【山】【已】【经】【做】【好】【了】【魔】【头】【随】【时】【冲】【破】【封】【印】【的】【准】【备】，【而】【且】【他】【们】【似】【乎】【也】【并】【不】【想】【拼】【尽】【全】【力】【阻】【止】【魔】【头】【出】【世】。【贫】【道】【看】【了】【看】，【当】【初】【在】【湖】【心】【岛】【听】【道】【的】【那】【些】【年】【轻】【的】【嵩】【山】【弟】【子】，【并】【没】【有】【看】【到】，【应】【该】【是】【已】
【在】【外】【面】【打】【了】【几】【个】【月】【的】【仗】，【结】【果】【王】【庸】【还】【真】【的】【忘】【记】，【今】【年】【有】【特】【级】【厨】【师】【考】【试】【来】【着】。【不】【过】【他】【的】【技】【艺】【虽】【然】【又】【到】【了】【瓶】【颈】，【不】【过】【好】【歹】【也】【是】【进】【入】【特】【级】【厨】【师】【的】【领】【域】，【倒】【是】【不】【怂】。 “【还】【有】【一】【个】【月】【便】【是】【特】【级】【厨】【师】【考】【试】，【你】【要】【做】【一】【下】【准】【备】【了】。”【曹】【操】【也】【意】【识】【到】，【一】【个】【特】【级】【厨】【师】【的】【身】【份】，【对】【王】【庸】【有】【多】【重】【要】。 【尤】【其】【是】【御】【厨】【主】【厨】【这】【个】【身】【份】，【刘】【协】【已】
【为】【促】【进】【东】【湖】【新】【技】【术】【开】【发】【区】【科】【创】【企】【业】【发】【展】，【打】【造】【科】【创】【企】【业】【金】【融】【服】【务】【生】【态】【圈】，【探】【讨】【科】【技】【金】【融】【服】【务】【创】【新】，11【月】8【日】【上】【午】，【兴】【业】【银】【行】【武】【汉】【分】【行】【联】【合】【东】【湖】【新】【技】【术】【开】【发】【区】【管】【委】【会】【举】【办】“【兴】【动】【光】【谷】·【科】【创】【未】【来】”【东】【湖】【新】【技】【术】【开】【发】【区】【科】【技】【金】【融】【论】【坛】。2017年第67期彩霸王图“【南】【宫】【先】【生】，【你】【说】，【此】【事】.【她】【会】【如】【何】【做】【呀】？” 【见】【李】【佑】【坐】【下】【低】【头】【沉】【思】，【南】【宮】【逸】【也】【没】【有】【多】【说】【什】【么】，【也】【坐】【到】【了】【一】【旁】【想】【着】【这】【事】，【这】【事】【可】【不】【好】【办】，【他】【一】【时】【之】【间】【也】【想】【不】【出】【来】。【狗】【子】【反】【正】【是】【帮】【不】【上】【忙】【的】，【跟】【着】【就】【退】【出】【了】【大】【厅】，【出】【去】【做】【事】【了】。 【对】【他】【们】【来】【说】，【这】【事】【还】【得】【想】【清】【楚】【的】【好】，【虽】【然】【不】【知】【道】【杨】【玉】【会】【用】【什】【么】【办】【法】，【可】【就】【因】【为】
B【市】 【管】【家】【以】【外】【面】【匆】【匆】【走】【了】【进】【来】，【夏】【时】【生】【笑】【着】【捏】【了】【捏】【乔】【宝】【贝】【肉】【乎】【乎】【的】【小】【脸】，“【去】【玩】【吧】。” 【乔】【宝】【贝】【迈】【着】【小】【短】【腿】【跑】【了】【出】【去】，【扑】【在】【正】【在】【草】【坪】【上】【沐】【浴】【着】【阳】【光】，【懒】【洋】【洋】【的】【睡】【着】【懒】【觉】【的】【贵】【宾】【犬】【身】【上】。 【贵】【宾】【丸】【睁】【开】【小】【缝】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【乔】【宝】【贝】，【又】【眯】【上】【眼】【睛】，【任】【由】【乔】【宝】【贝】【在】【它】【身】【上】【胡】【作】【非】【为】。 【它】【已】【经】【习】【惯】【的】【不】【能】【再】【习】【惯】【了】，【它】【感】
“【秘】【诀】？”【许】【信】【成】【在】【心】【里】【问】【自】【己】。 【只】【在】【一】【瞬】【间】，【他】【便】【有】【了】【答】【案】，【这】【答】【案】【太】【简】【单】【了】。【过】【去】【两】【个】【多】【月】【里】，【在】【如】【此】【之】【短】【的】【时】【间】【内】，【他】【之】【所】【以】【能】【有】【如】【此】【之】【大】【的】【成】【长】【和】【进】【步】，【至】【少】80%【都】【是】【因】【为】Lucy，【这】【就】【是】【秘】【诀】。 【自】【从】【认】【识】【了】Lucy【之】【后】，【他】【便】【被】Lucy【引】【领】【进】【了】【一】【个】【新】【世】【界】【里】，【这】【是】【一】【个】【高】【度】【更】【高】、【维】【度】【更】