Last Chance to See Sierra Stages' COMPANY, Running thru 3/23 at the Nevada Theatre
The Sierra Stages production of the landmark musical comedy COMPANY by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth closes its four weekend run on Sunday March 23. The final four performances are Thursday March 20 at 7 PM, Friday & Saturday March 21 & 22 at 8 PM and Sunday March 23 at 2 PM at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.
COMPANY opened on Broadway in 1970, swept the Tony Awards and heralded a new era in the American musical. Audiences weren't quite sure what to make of a musical without a linear plot, but they recognized and enjoyed the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim's music and lyrics, the cutting humor and insight of George Furth's book, and the innovation of the overall production directed by Harold Prince. In 1970, New York City and the nation were in the midst of the social and cultural revolution - a revolution that redefined (among other things) the role of women and the meaning of marriage in our society. Audiences who attended COMPANY during its original Broadway run were watching themselves (or people very much like themselves) dealing with profound social changes. It was all presented as an entertaining musical comedy, but it was a musical comedy with a point (in the tradition of West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Cabaret).
Since 1970, COMPANY has been performed far and wide. In addition to Broadway and London revivals in the 1990s, COMPANY was part of the Stephen Sondheim celebration at the Kennedy Center in 2002, revived again on Broadway in 2006 in a production directed by John Doyle, and most recently seen in a concert version with the New York Philharmonic featuring Neil Patrick Harris as Robert and Patti Lupone as Joanne.
Four decades on, COMPANY continues to be an entertaining and thought-provoking show. Like the original, the Sierra Stages production is set in New York City in the early 1970s. Watching COMPANY as an audience member in 2014 is a very different experience than attending COMPANY in 1970. For example, when one of the couples reveals they are getting divorced, it no longer strikes us as something unusual. Similarly, in a society where marijuana is legal (to one degree or another) in a number of states, a scene where marijuana is smoked is no longer subversive. Yet, we continue to recognize and identify with the various characters in the show and find the humor and truth in their relationships. Ultimately, the show affirms the importance of marriage and the need to connect with others (a theme that emerges more fully in Sondheim's later works with James Lapine). Because of the genius of Furth, Sondheim, and Prince, the show continues to move and entertain us with its unique combination of comic book scenes and powerhouse musical numbers.
COMPANY features a 14-person cast, 9-person orchestra and 4-person "vocal minority". The show is directed by Jac Royce, with musical direction by Ken Getz and choreography by Becky Browning. Set design is by Mike Edwards, lighting design is by Erin Beatie, and costume design is by Cynthia Levesque.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.SierraStages.org or by calling Sierra Stages at 530.346.3210. Tickets are also on sale at BriarPatch Co-op on Sierra College Boulevard in Grass Valley, and at the door. General Admission is $25 ($23 for Seniors age 65 and above and $15 for Youth age 17 and under) and Reserved Seating is $35. For students, one hour before each performance at the box office, Sierra Stages offers 6 FREE tickets to students age 25 and under who present a valid student ID (limit of one ticket per ID). $15 student rush tickets will also be sold at the box office, subject to availability, ½ hour before each performance.
Sierra Stages' next production will be David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play PROOF (May 1 through May 18). PROOF will be followed by the original J.M Barrie version of PETER PAN (July 10 through August 2) and the classic Off Broadway musical YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (September 18 through October 12).
For more information about COMPANY and Sierra Stages, visit www.SierraStages.org or call 530.346.3210.
Pictured: The cast of the Sierra Stages production of the landmark musical comedy COMPANY. Photo by David Wong.