Avon Players Present COMPANY
Avon Players closes its 2018-2019 season with the groundbreaking musical examination of modern love from master composer Stephen Sondheim, Company running May 17-June 1.
Bobby (Matt Cason) has a full social calendar but avoids romantic commitments. On the night of his thirty-fifth birthday, he reassesses his life by reviewing his relationships with his married friends and girlfriends. Bobby's friends include Harry (Clayton Hargrave) and Sarah (Johannah Steinbrecher-Booker), whose passive-aggressive sniping gives way to an all-out karate-inspired brawl. Peter (Eric Rodman) and Susan (Kirsten Renas) seem to have the ideal marriage yet are giddy about their decision to divorce...and stay together. Self-proclaimed "square" Jenny (Odera Office) and her controlling husband David (Patrick Daniels) spend a substance-fueled evening interrogating Bobby about his persistent bachelorhood. Neurotic bride Amy (Jenna Russell) has very different ideas than her devoted fiancé Paul (Nicholas Frederick) about how their big day will go as expressed in the hilarious patter song "Getting Married Today." And thrice-married Joanne (Joy Oetjens) delivers her scathing critique of certain women of means to Bobby and her current husband, the doting and wealthy Larry (James Maurer), in the indelible "The Ladies Who Lunch." While Bobby's married friends view his single status with alternating envy and pity, his girlfriends-ditzy flight attendant April (Sarah Milano), blunt bohemian Marta (Veronica Dean), and stability seeker Kathy (Cheyenne Johnson)-suffer firsthand the exasperation of coping with Bobby's chronic commitment phobia. Throughout, Bobby goes on an intimate tour of and gets an unvarnished look at marriage and comes to a new and nuanced understanding of "Being Alive."
Company debuted on Broadway in 1970 when it earned a record-setting fourteen Tony nominations and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score. Book writer George Furth originally conceived the show as eleven different one-act plays. The plays and the subject matter, an unflinching look at upper-middle-class New York marriages, appealed to legendary composer Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd). Sondheim shared the plays with director and producer Hal Prince (Evita, The Phantom of the Opera) who saw in them the potential for a musical. At the time of its debut, Company's non-linear structure was revolutionary among Broadway musicals as was its frank, realistic examination of modern relationships.
That Company has been revived and reimagined many times over the years is evidence of the enduring nature of its themes. Notable productions include the 2006 Broadway revival starring Raúl Esparza in which the cast also served as the orchestra and a semi-staged New York Philharmonic concert starring Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby and Patti LuPone as Joanne. A current London West End revival features some gender-flipped characters, including a female protagonist, "Bobbie" played by Rosalie Craig.