The 2006 Broadway revival of Company is one of the finest musical productions you will ever see. Director John Doyle continues his journey through the Sondheim catalogue using his trademark direction of replacing a formal orchestra with the actors themselves providing the orchestral accompaniment. Led by Raúl Esparza as Robert and featuring a dynamic company of mostly unknown actor/musicians, this is a must see show. For those who haven’t seen this production, you can find this version on Netflix or YouTube.
Allowing the actors to play their own instruments not only creates unique staging possibilities but allows the actor to use the playing of the music as an extension of their character. Company‘s performance at the 2007 Tony Awards is a perfect example of this. Raúl Esparza as Robert is able to use the playing of the piano as a tool to cipher through his conflicting thoughts on marriage to realize his wanting for someone to share his life with, someone to help and hurt and hinder and love, someone with whom to face the challenge of “Being Alive.” Raúl Esparza was robbed of a Tony Award.