RIALTO CHATTER Update: Daniel Evans, Bobby Steggart, Michael Urie, and Alan Cumming Lead Roundabout's COMPANY Readings; John Tiffany Directs
As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Roundabout Theatre Company has been hosting private readings for a potential new production of Stephen Sondheim's Company, which might include some gender reversals in the casting of SOME of the show's iconic characters. Also, contrary to published reports, Nathan Lane is not currently attached to the workshop. We have confirmed that featured amongst the cast are Bobby Steggart, Michael Urie, and Alan Cumming. The New York Times is now reporting that Tony-winning director John Tiffany is directing and 2008 Tony nominee Daniel Evans is playing 'Bobby', who will be gay in this version of the show.
Sondheim told the NYT: "It's still a musical about commitment, but marriage is seen as something very different in 2013 than it was in 1970. We don't deal with gay marriage as such, but this version lets us explore the issues of commitment in a fresh way."
Todd Haimes tells BroadwayWorld.com that "Roundabout produces many internal workshops and readings for a variety of purposes. Each season, we fulfill part of our mission through development of classic and new works by established and emerging writers. We have a long and rewarding relationship with Stephen Sondheim. A reading of Company gives us an opportunity to revisit the musical we produced in 1995 and to work with John Tiffany, an artist we have wanted to work with for a long time. The reading provides a safe environment for our artists to explore bold choices."
We will bring you more details when and if they become available, though as always readings are not necessarily (at all) indicative of future productions or casting and of course it's a work-in-progress so there are changes happening daily.
Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking musical Company - which premiered in 1970 with a book by George Furth and a cast including Broadway luminaries Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch and Donna McKechnie - has continually acquired generations of new fans through various regional productions and its 1995 and 2006 Broadway revivals.
Centering on Bobby, a bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his ten closest friends (who happen to be five couples), Company culminates in Bobby's transformation from unattached swinger to tentative monogamist.
The show was most recently seen in a New York Philharmonic gala concert production starring Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby and directed by Sondheim veteran Lonny Price, won rave reviews. Harris' co-stars include Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls), Jon Cryer and Martha Plimpton, who perform the show's many standards including "Another Hundred People," "Barcelona," "Side by Side," "The Ladies Who Lunch," and "Being Alive." Also starring Craig Bierko, Katie Finneran, Aaron Lazar, Jill Paice, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton and Chryssie Whitehead.