Strange Acoustics: Being Alive

When the musical Company first debuted in 1970, it was on of the first musicals to tackle more serious themes and utilize less linear storytelling. Centered around a single New Yorker named Robert and his five married sets of best friends, Company ties together a set of unrelated scenes to Robert’s 35th birthday, which replays several times throughout the show.

The 2006 Broadway revival has the actors playing musical instruments to reinforce themes of love, marriage and friendship, particularly in the finale of the show. Raúl Esparza, playing Robert, starts the final song, Being Alive, singing alone while accompanying himself on the piano. As the song progresses, his friends begin to to accompany him on their own instruments. By the end he moves out from behind the piano to the spotlight in the middle of the stage, his movement mirroring his character’s own triumphant epiphany.

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