Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Raul, Come On Over For Dinner

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.]


floretbroccoli said...

RE's on-stage performance of Being Alive (I always have to be careful not to say Staying Alive, although I like to imagine that, too) was a top highlight of my many years of theater-going.

Make sure to see The Homecoming before it closes. Absolutely amazing cast.

Eires32 said...

Hello - I usually lurk here, but I have to also urge (nay, ORDER) you to go see the Homecoming. In over 20 years of Broadway and regional theatre-going, it is probably as close to a perfect show as I've seen. Raul is fantastic; somehow repellent and mesmerizing at the same time.
Let us know what you think!


yay. another Raul nut.

i love him so... i keep hoping he gets to sing on Pushing Daisies. I love the Wicked sendup (watched it too many times already) but how horrifying is it that Heather Laws did not get a TONY nomination for this show.

ARGH. she was better than just about anyone nominated.

movies, tv, plays... all awards groups are INSANE

NYOne said...

Oh, so much love for Raul. I cried my eyes out at The Normal Heart and am still kind of mad I missed him in Chitty. I do need to see the Homecoming. Ditto Nathaniel's request re: Pushing Daisies. How can they not?!
I also adore his rendition of Hair from the Actors Fund Concert performance.