Album Reviews: Company / Follies / Mythic

A trio of album reviews cover the (relatively) recently released cast recordings of Company, Follies and Mythic

“One more souvenir of bliss”

I adored Marianne Elliott’s reinterpretation of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company on my many visits and so the news of a cast recording was of course ecstatically received. And perhaps inevitably it doesn’t quite live up to the thrill of seeing it live but maybe that’s because the production is still so fresh in my mind. I mean we’re only talking a 4 instead of a 4.5…

© Brinkhoff Mogenburg

I swear Patti LuPone’s ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ was different every time I saw it but this version here is as good as any, with the glorious fullness of her voice pointedly sharpening its wit. Her contributions to ‘The Little Things We Do Together’ are inspired, Jonny Bailey’s ‘Not Getting Married’ is breathlessly affecting and the warmth of Rosalie Craig’s character and voice infuse the whole experience with real quality. 

Another major Sondheim revival was the National Theatre’s Follies whose 2017-18 company had their cast recording released just before the show returned in 2019. It is a superb accounting of the show (far superior to the newest Broadway recording) – the joy of Dawn Hope’s ‘Who’s That Woman?’, the passioned intensity of Tracie Bennett’s ‘I’m Still Here’, the caustic beauty of Janie Dee’s ‘Could I Leave You?’, nothing is lost.

© Johan Persson

The only tiny bugbear is that having seen, and heard, Joanna Riding’s Sally now, I long for a recording of her ‘Losing My Mind’ which considerably outshone Imelda Staunton’s, for me at least. But that’s more than made up for with the privilege of being able to listen to Josephine Barstow and Alison Langer’s magnificent duetting on ‘One More Kiss’ – a musical moment for the ages.

And not at all Sondheim-related and perhaps a little surprising to be receiving the cast recording treatment, Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor’s Mythic can be found on all the usual music avenues, streaming, purchasing or otherwise. A poppy take on a slice of Greek mythology, the score doesn’t quite have the impact to break through without the visuals IMHO.

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