Concept meets narrative in Sondheim's Company: Metadrama as a method of analysis
Stephen Sondheim's Company is often considered to be one of the first concept musicals, moving in a different direction from the book musicals of creative teams such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. Using the analytical tool of metadrama, as defined by Richard Hornby, this article asserts that the construction of Company combines aspects of a concept musical with a psychological narrative. The article focuses on the musical numbers themselves, while also examining the dramatic and metadramatic effects of staging decisions in the Sam Mendes production from the Donmar Warehouse in 1995. Such an investigation of the musical's dramatic layers furthers an understanding of Sondheim's unique and innovative version of the concept musical a version that refuses to subjugate character development and emotional accessibility for conceptual didacticism.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2010
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- Studies in Musical Theatre is a refereed journal which considers areas of live performance that use vocal and instrumental music in conjunction with theatrical performance as a principal part of their expressive language.
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