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Showtune Sunday: All about “Being Alive”

Toward the end of Marriage Story, Adam Driver’s character, Charlie, is seated with friends at a piano bar and explaining what it was like to divorce his now ex-wife, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson).

Charlie — an acclaimed stage director in New York — does what any theater kid would do: He breaks into song. And of all the show tunes in musical theater history, he sings Being Alive from the Stephen Sondheim’s Company. The song appears at the end of Act II and is sung by the main character, Robert, a 35-year-old bachelor who at the show’s end “. . . realizes being a lone wolf isn’t all it’s cracked up to be . . . he declares that he wants to take the chance, be afraid, get his heart broken – or whatever happens when you decide to love and be loved.”

I’ve included Driver’s version of the song as well as a handful of stage stars who obviously can belt it out much more powerfully.

Each one is unique and terrific.


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(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

2 Remarks

  1. I saw the original production on Broadway with Larry Kert, who comped me a ticket. he was like no other. He owned the role.

  2. Neil is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the greatest talents around anywhere, and it takes Broadway to show that talent. This coming from someone who thinks (yet) that Fred Astaire was the greatest performer of the 20th century, bar none. Neil gives the song the justice it deserves as one of the classiest songs to ever have been performed on Broadway. Most of the others just “perform” it. He IS it.

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