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Sondheim's Company with the New York Philharmonic is captured live in HD from the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center, New York. The orchestra is conducted by Sondheim specialist, Paul Gemignani. Company's plot revolves around Robert (Neil Patrick Harris) - a single man unable to fully commit to a steady relationship, let alone marriage - the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends. Presented as a series of short vignettes linked by a celebration for Robert's 35th birthday, songs include Being Alive, Side by Side, The Ladies Who Lunch, Getting Married Today and Company.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It may be only the next best thing to being there, but a filmed stage production has one distinct advantage over actually being there: the cameras take us up close to the cast and even the fabulous orchestra. And when it's the New York Philharmonic and a Broadway cast, this is high grade showbiz.

With the charismatic and talented Neil Patrick Harris at the centre of the show, Company blends musical numbers with comedic vignettes - mostly with a sharp, dramatic edge - all about relationships and marriage.

The bitter sweet nature of married life is given a good workout and there is plenty of heart as well as some prickly observations to give the affair texture and grounding.

The cameras are busy but unobtrusive so we get lots of different angles and several close ups, with sensitive camera switching to make it seem as natural as possible. The orchestra sounds fabulous and all the vocals are crystal clear - and funny or moving or both.

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(US, 2011)

CAST: (in alphabetical order): Craig Bierko, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Katie Finneran, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Lazar, Patti LuPone, Jill Paice, Martha Plimpton, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton, Chryssie Whitehead

DIRECTOR: Harold Prince - original production

SCRIPT: George Furth (book)

MUSIC: Stephen Sondheim (music & lyrics)

RUNNING TIME: 165 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Saturday, March 31 & Sunday April 1, 2012 at participating cinemas (info & tix: www.sondheimscompany.com )

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