PBS ‘Great Performances’ Will Present New ‘Company’ Revival Documentary

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Great Performances presents a new documentary exploring the legacy of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company, part of the series’ fifth “Broadway’s Best” lineup. Filmed over two years, the broadcast takes an inside look at Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott’s creative process of bringing the reimagined gender-swapped production to Broadway during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a cast including Tony and Grammy winner Katrina Lenk and two-time Tony and two-time Grammy winner Patti LuPone.

Featuring rehearsal and performance footage, plus new interviews with Elliott, Lenk, LuPone, Sondheim, and members of the original 1970 cast, “Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim” (w.t.), a #PBSForTheArts program, premieres Friday, May 27 at 9 PM ET on PBS (check local listings), www.pbs.org/broadwayonpbs and the PBS Video app.

After a critically acclaimed 2018 London run, Company was headed to Broadway when its originally planned March 2020 opening was suspended due to the pandemic. On December 9, 2021, the show finally opened on Broadway – two weeks after Sondheim’s unexpected passing on November 26. “Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim” (w.t.) tells the story of the show’s 1970 Broadway debut in a city on the verge of bankruptcy to its reimagination 50 years later as both Broadway and New York City emerge from one of the greatest crises they have ever faced. As audiences return to the unique shared experience of live theater, Company – with its famously ambiguous exploration of love, connection, and marriage in New York City – endures as a seminal work to explore Sondheim's groundbreaking musical theater legacy as well as the social and cultural upheavals that paralleled its reopening.

#PBSForTheArts is a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America. For more than 50 years, PBS has been the media destination for the arts, presenting dance, theater, opera, visual arts and concerts to Americans in every corner of the country. Previous Great Performances programs include “Romeo & Juliet” from the National Theatre, “The Arts Interrupted,” “Coppelia,” “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2022,” and “Reopening: The Broadway Revival” premiering tonight at 9 PM ET on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/broadwayonpbsand the PBS Video app. The collection of #PBSForTheArts programs is available at pbs.org/artsand the PBS Video app. Curated conversation and digital shorts are also available on PBS social media platforms using #PBSForTheArts. 

Throughout its nearly 50-year history on PBS, “Great Performances” has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards® and six Peabody Awards®. The “Great Performance” website hosts exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes, and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group.

“Great Performances” is available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.organd the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. PBS station members can view many series, documentaries and specials via PBS Passport. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS PassportFAQwebsite.

A co-production of Sabel Productions, Lone Star Productions and The WNET Group, “Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim” (w.t.) is directed by Andrew Douglas and produced by David Sabel. Associate producer is Brook Crowley, with Martin Rosenbaum and Adam Low as executive producers. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer. 

Series funding for “Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim” (w.t.) was provided by The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, the Jack Lawrence Charitable Remainder Trust Worchell Lawrence and Ellen and James S. Marcus.