From musical theatre’s most renowned composer, the late, great Stephen Sondheim, “Company” is regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre, and the Arts Center has produced it for their next show, directed by Russell Garrett.
The original production opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on April 26, 1970. The production, featuring music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by George Furth, ran for 705 performances before closing on New Year’s Day, 1972. The production, directed by Harold Prince, went on to be nominated for 14 Tony Awards, winning six, including Best Musical.
The recent Broadway revival, starring Patti LaPone, captured five Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The story follows Bobby (Curtis Wiley) who is a confirmed, die-hard bachelor. On the night of his 35th birthday, Bobby contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks, and even a wedding, his friends – “those good and crazy people [his] married friends” – explain the pros and cons of having a spouse.
Bobby is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions. We learn in scenes both hilarious and poignant that wedded bliss falls on the gamut somewhere between compromise and bourbon.
“Company” features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs and most beautiful ballads. The show is at once boldly sophisticated, deeply insightful, and downright hilarious. “Company” features Sondheim’s award-winning hit songs “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Side by Side by Side,” and the iconic “Being Alive.”
One of the cast members is a Broadway-but-local favorite, Meredith Inglesby, who plays the lovable and quirky Amy. Amy, much like Bobby, is reluctant to wed and admits to preferring to be left alone.
“Meredith always shines when she’s on stage,” said the Arts Center’s President & CEO Jeffrey Reeves, “even when she’s in an ensemble piece like ‘Company.’ And all of the cast is just stellar. We are delighted to produce one of Sondheim’s most beloved musicals for our spring show.”
Chances are good that audience members will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the characters onstage. It’s a true testament to Sondheim’s legacy and talent that his musical written in 1970 is as relevant, poignant, and entertaining as ever.
Tickets can be purchased online at artshhi.com or by calling 843-842-2787. The Arts Center production runs through May 28.