Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre

What did our critic think of COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre?

By: Jun. 09, 2024
Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre
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What a mess – the characters I mean. Sondheim’s original Tony-winning play examines both the merit and harsh realities of relationships as seen through the perspective of a detached, intimacy avoiding individual. They’re all delightfully dysfunctional, their relationships messy, beautifully mirroring reality. Presented here is the revised 2018 version including a gender swap of the lead character from male (Bobby) to female (Bobbie) and including a same-sex couple. This revival swept the 2021 Tony’s once again winning five including Best Revival of a Musical, and with three-time Tony Award winner Marianne Elliot (War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Angels in America ) directing, this production is as fresh, vital and exciting as it must have been in 1970.

Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre
Derrick Davis as Larry, Judy McLane as Joanne and Britney Coleman as Bobbie 

With a stellar touring cast led by Britney Coleman (Beetlejuice) as Bobbie and award winner Judy McLane as Joanne and the brilliant re-imagining by Elliot with revisions approved by Sondheim himself, this Company is a perfect tribute to the master providing a fresh contemporary perspective on his inciteful lyrics. Throughout a series of non-linear vignettes, Bobbie observes her married friends’ interactions which both scare the bejesus out of her and shifts her closer to a breakthrough.

Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre
 Britney Coleman as Bobbie, Matthew Christian as David and Emma Stratton as Jenny 

Elliots’ staging equals Sondheim’s brilliance and is a joy to behold. Whether its all ten characters jammed into Bobbie’s tiny apartment or her walking in her friend’s conversations, Elliot has masterfully created a montage of intimate moments wrapped in Sondheim’s sophisticated lyrics. The score never seemed more vibrant and alive, and so universally relatable. Coleman is fantastic as Bobbie with a lovely soprano, the ensemble.

Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre
The touring cast of Company

upping the humor levels in some truly funny situations: Joanne’s judgmental toast to uptight rich women in” The Ladies Who Lunch,” Jamie’s panicked wedding denial in "Getting Married Today", the huge production number “Sided by Side by Side.”  The crowning moment of Company is Bobbie’s realization of her need for relationship in “Being Alive,” one of Sondheim’s most beautiful anthems. The song starts tentatively, then flowers into an urgency that brings chills.

The talented ensemble is by Kathryn Allison as Sarah, Derrick Davis as Larry, Javier Ignacio as Peter, James Earl Jones II as Harry, Marina Kondo as Susan, Matt Bitner as David, Jhardon DiShon Milton as Paul, Matt Rodin as Jamie, Emma Stratton as Jenny, Jacob Dickey as Andy, Tyler Hardwick as PJ, and David Socolar as Theo.

Review: COMPANY at Orpheum Theatre
Britney Coleman as Bobbie and Jacob Dickey as Andy

The creative team includes: Liam Steel (choreography), Joel Fram (musical supervisor, additional vocal arrangements), Tony Award winner Bunny Christie (set and costume design), Tony Award nominee Neil Austn (lighting design), Tony Award nominee Ian Dickinson (original sound design), Keith Caggiano (tour sound design), Tony Award nominee David Cullen (orchestrations), and Sam Davis (dance arrangements). It all combines to one sensational production and a living testament to Sondheim.

Company continues through June 29th. Tickets available at http://www.broadwaysf.com/

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade




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