(Jesse Green’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/12; photo: love4musicals.com; via Pam Green.)
“Where you going?” a person asks the lady leaving his mattress one morning — probably anticipating her to say, “to the toilet.”
Instead she says, “Barcelona.”
Or, relatively, she sings it, as a result of the joke in addition to the character perception — she’s a stewardess — are a part of a music that turned its personal three-act mini-drama within the 1970 musical “Company.”
Act One: Bobby, the person, tries to get April, the stewardess, to return again to mattress however fails.
Act Two: As April places on her uniform, Bobby rhapsodizes about her being a really particular lady — “and never since you’re vivid.” (He shortly corrects himself: “not simply since you’re vivid.”) Then, on a ringing excessive be aware, he calls her June.
Act Three: When she accedes to his relentless importuning, he’s immediately horrified. “Oh, God,” he sings, having achieved the companionship he by no means needed. Blackout.
What simply occurred? In the three minutes, 93 bars and 181 phrases that make up the music “Barcelona” — one in all 15 or so in “Company” and greater than 750 within the catalog of Stephen Sondheim — theatergoers get an entire narrative, throughout the bigger one of many present, that deepens our understanding of Bobby, bachelorhood and the push-pull of otherness. The director (within the unique manufacturing, Harold Prince) will get one thing too: a wealthy scene to stage, the actors, a palpable battle to play and the subtext to tell it.
And all that is achieved in classical A-B-A kind, to a sweetly lazy tune befitting the morning-after setting, with apt however light rhymes (“going”/“Boeing”) and punch traces that aren’t simply punches. They provide help to sympathize slightly extra with Bobby, even in case you like him rather less.