Stephen Sondheim’s Company
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
The Lyric Stage Boston
reviewed by Bobby Franklin
I am embarrassed to admit it, but in all the years I have been attending theatre I have, until now, never seen Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”. Well, I guess the theatre gods wanted me to wait for the Lyric Stage’s production directed by Spiro Veloudos. The gods were smiling on me as I doubt I could have seen a better staging of this wonderful play anywhere else. The wait was worth it.
The play which was considered groundbreaking when it first appeared in 1970 takes on the subject of marriage, commitment, and non commitment. It centers around Bobby, the one person in his circle of friends who has not been in a committed relationship. His friends are concerned that Bobby is not in a relationship, and they are trying to fix him up or convince him that “A person is not complete until married.”
At the same time, we get to explore the question of just how happy Bobby’s married friends are. The songs “The Little Things You Do Together” and “Sorry-Grateful” capture the conflict many couples have using an on the one hand, on the other hand theme.
“Company” is a play that, while dealing with a subject, marriage and commitment that can be touchy and emotional, and is something we all have experienced in some way, it never makes you feel uncomfortable. The music is classic Sondheim, meaning it is simply wonderful. There is humor, and
the cast, without exception, is a joy to watch.
As I was leaving the theatre two moments stayed in my thoughts. One is when Amy, who is engaged to be married but is getting cold feet, tells Bobby “You are afraid not to get married, and I am afraid to get married.” The other was the song “Marry Me A Little” sung by Bobby. He is onto something.
There is not a bad seat at the Lyric Stage, but they are limited. I recommend you get tickets soon before it sells out as it most certainly will. Don’t wait. who knows when the gods will send us another production as fine as this one.
Company now through October 9th at The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston. 617.585.5678
Photos: Mark S. Howard