IFC’s Documentary Now! has cut a vinyl record of the music from an upcoming episode,Original Cast Album: Co-op.
Six new Sondheim-ian songs were written for the send up of Original Cast Album: Company, the 1970 D.A. Pennebaker documentary about the grueling overnight cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical.
They new songs are fake but great Sondheim numbers – hilarious and well produced, assured Taran Killam, who stars as Benedict Juniper.
The are similarly challenging to memorize, TV critics assumed.
“Talk about learning these stupid songs,” one critic asked Richard Kind, who stars as Larry, and who was seen gasping for breathe during a performance of one of the tunes in a clip that kicked off the Q&A.
“Whenever someone asks how to you memorize those lines…You either know them or you don’t,” Kind said.
Fake Sondheim songs also are “more difficult,” he said. “it takes more time. You get it, You work hard.”
Once you’ve got down Sondheim lyrics, he said, “It’s like pea soup out of Linda Blair’s mouth – you can’t stop it.”
The hardest part, Kind described of the clip performance, was figuring out where Larry would have to stop to catch his breath. Only after learning the lyrics, the actor said, could he “disassemble this song” to make decisions where to “screw up.”
They loved the results so much, EP/director Alex Buono said, they pressed a vinyl album.
Over its many seasons, the series has parodied so many documentaries, it is running out of material, EP/directors Rhys Thomas ad Alex Buono joked. The actual Company is beloved by the Broadway community, but not one of the more famous documentaries and also is hard to find, so lots of people watching the episode may not have seen the original. They said they had no concern that would keep viewers from enjoying the send-up.
Each of Documentary Now!’s seven new episodes for Season 52 are hosted by Dame Helen Mirren. This season’s all-star lineup includes Kate Blanchett, Michael Keaton, Owen Wilson, Michael C. Hall, John Mulaney, Taran Killam, James Urbaniak, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Bobby Moynihan, Natasha Lyonne and more.