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COMPANY Comes to the Town Hall Theater This Month

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Learn more about the upcoming production here!

COMPANY Comes to the Town Hall Theater This Month

A production of a Stephen Sondheim musical is always an event, but the master composer's recent death gives the upcoming Middlebury production a new poignancy.

"We scheduled this production of Company last year," said Town Hall Theater artistic director Douglas Anderson. "So it's bittersweet timing to find ourselves presenting the work so soon after his death. I must say it gives everyone connected with it a new sense of purpose. We want to demonstrate to the world just how thoroughly Sondheim changed the American Musical Theater."

The production is the 16th co-production of Town Hall Theater and the Middlebury College Department of Music. Anderson and music director Carol Christensen have built the program into a much-awaited annual event, playing to sold-out houses and critical acclaim.

Company debuted in 1970, with both music and lyrics by Sondheim. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical, but many audience members didn't know what to make of it. "Musicals have always been extremely idealistic," said Anderson. "They say that marriage is the best thing that can happen to you, and happily-ever-after is for real. That's all fine, says Sondheim, but life isn't like that." So while a beloved musical like Guys and Dolls ends with two happy marriages, in Company Sondheim presented, for the first time, marriages that are complicated and difficult.

"He gave the musical the dramatic heft of a good straight play," said Anderson. "Most classic musicals are pitched to a 14-year-old mind. Sondheim was determined to treat us like the adults we are."

It helps that Sondheim's lyrics are generally considered among the best-ever written - witty, complex, and brilliantly constructed. There's a great deal of humor in a Sondheim musical, but also a great many gut-wrenching truths. As one reviewer put it, "Company dares to say things that haven't been said before or since in an American musical."

Starring in the production is Zachary Maluccio '23. He plays Robert, the single man whose friends are all married yet conflicted about the choices they've made in their lives. As he looks at his dysfunctional circle of friends, he wonders if marriage is something he should avoid. By the end of the piece, however, he realizes that he needs human contact, he needs to embrace
commitment, and he sings the famous 11 o'clock number "Being Alive."

The show is choreographed by Elisa Van Duyne, with a 15-piece student orchestra under the
direction of Ronnie Romano '20. Costumes are by Emma Cowper '20.5, lighting by Courtney Smith and technical director Abbey Plankey-Smith. Doug Anderson designed the setting and
directs, with Carol Christensen as music director.

Tickets for Company are on sale now and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling 802-382-9222, or by visiting the THT box office (Monday through Friday, noon to 5 pm). Town Hall Theater observes strict Covid protocols, requiring proof of vaccination and a booster, if
eligible, or proof of negative PCR test, as well as a photo ID. Masks must always be worn inside the theater.

"There's been so much glowing press following Sondheim's death," said Anderson. "Here's a chance to see what the fuss is all about."

Tickets are on sale now at www.townhalltheater.org.


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