BWW Reviews: COMPANY Opens at the White Theatre in Kansas City
Company, the musical comedy about a single man turning 35, opened to a sold-out house Saturday February 8 at the White Theatre in Overland Park, Kan. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and from a book by George Furth, Director Barb Nichols assembled a talented cast of singers and dancers for the production. Music Director Martha Risser conducted a flawless performance by the accompanying orchestra.
Company first appeared on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on April 26, 1970, and closed after 705 performances. In 1971, the production won several Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book, and n, Best Original Music, and Best Lyrics among others. A 2006 revival on Broadway opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, closing after 246 performances and winning a Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.
The choreography by Rob Reeder is among the best in the Kansas City theater scene. The performance of the often-complex dance numbers was sensational and exciting to watch. Brilliantly performed is a number involving hats and canes, which brings to mind memories of a Bob Fosse chorus line.
Joel Morrison stars as Bobby, the bachelor whose many friends get together to celebrate his turning 35. However, he has several girlfriends but struggles with commitment issues, which his friends feel compelled to help him conquer. His performance was very natural, whether conversing with the other actors or breaking into song and dance. His speaking voice is wonderful, but when he breaks into song, it becomes strong and powerfully magnificent. He previously appeared at the White Theatre in LES MISERABLES and Next to Normal.
Jan Lord plays Sarah and Kevin Bogan plays Harry her husband. Both actors have fantastic voices; Lord has an almost operatic style, while Bogan has a deep powerful voice that mesmerizes the audience as he sings a solo early in the production.
The immense talent of Whitney Armstrong, who portrays Amy, is amazing to watch as she sings Getting Married Today. John Edmonds, who plays Paul her husband, and the ensemble join in the interpretation of the song. The cast gives one of the most energetic best performances of the song produced on a Kansas City stage. How she keeps track of what she rapidly sings, or how Edmonds can concentrate on his part of the song as they sing together is miraculous. Edmonds said of joining the cast, "I am honored to be a member of this dream cast."
Other members of the cast include Lyndsey Agron, Curt Crespino, Laura Roose, Mark Murphy, Cathy Wood, Kipp Simmons, Maggie Gremminger, Samantha Agron, and Katie Bartow. Lyndsey and Samantha Argon are sisters who have appeared previously at the White Theatre. All the members of the cast have very good voices that blend harmoniously.
Photo by Bob Compton is courtesy of the White Theatre.