A couple weeks ago, I had recorded PBS's Great Performances series, which this month featured the recent Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. Besides being knocked out by the musical itself -- something I haven't been by either the movie nor the available clips of the stage version of Sweeney Todd, I have to say -- and immediately buying the soundtrack and listening to it, on repeat, for a solid week, I also emerged with an appetite for all things Raul Esparza. I already know some of my more Broadway-savvy readers (and fellow bloggers) have to be stifling a snicker as I'm all, "Dude, have you heard of this Raul Esparza kid? He's going places, I can tell!" But what do I know, I'm still new to this whole Broadway game. But he's really just phenomenal as the lead in Company, with a booming-yet-vulnerable voice and this deep, inside-out portrayal that's necessary for the show to work.
So of course I had myself a YouTube binge and am inviting you to follow me down the rabbitt hole, because if Kerry Butler is my Broadway girlfriend, then Raul is my Broadway boyfriend, and it's all terribly scandalous (though I hear Raul is bisexual, so I'm sure he's cool with it):
[Esparza's Tony Awards performance of Company's closing song, "Being Alive"]
[There isn't much Esparza here, but Heather Laws is so awesome on "Not Getting Married Today"]
[And here's Raul at some cabaret thingie singing "Defying Gravity" from Wicked, and its very calculatedly offhand but it's also inescapably delightful. Siiigh.]