Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | Book by George Furth
Directed by Elliott Bunker | Musical Direction by Sarah Farrar
Choreography and Movement by Katie Milward
AUDITION DATES: 7th & 9th February 2023
PERFORMANCE DATES: 22nd to 27th May 2023
Opening on Broadway in 1970, Company with music and lyrics by the late Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth went on to receive 14 Tony Award nominations (a record at the time) and ended up winning six of them, including Best Musical.
Originally a series of individual scenes written by Furth, it wasn’t until Sondheim showed them to his friend and collaborator Hal Prince that he said they would make a good musical. So, Sondheim got to work and tied them all together around a central character celebrating their 35th birthday and dealing with the challenges of modern life and the struggles of dating, marriage, and divorce. This central character shared the stage with 5 married couples and three love interests.
In the original production and all subsequent versions right up to 2018, the central character was male, Robert. But when director Marianne Elliott decided to stage a revival, she approached Sondheim with some ideas to change a few things. Sondheim loved the revisions so much he came on board and rewrote parts of the show to bring it bang up to date. In those revisions the central male character was switched to a female, Bobbie and the production featured a same-sex couple…and it is this revised version we will be staging at The QMT. In fact, we will be one of the first amateur societies to do so and I cannot tell you how excited I am!
The show takes place in central New York and in this production, I hope to be able to transform the main auditorium into a multi-layered performance space by removing the main stage and building a large bridge which connects either side of the stage which the actors can walk over, under and around in all the various scenes and musical numbers.
In total I will need 14 performers, who can all sing (the harmonies are gorgeous, but a challenge!), act (the scenes are equally comedic and emotional) and move/dance (there are at least 4 large production numbers).
But this challenge is a shared one and we have an amazing creative team in place, with Sarah Farrar coming in from Luton to be the musical director and our own Katie Rallison putting everyone through their paces with the movement.
The characters are as follows:
Bobbie – female with an acting age of 35
Joanne – female with an acting age of 50-70
Larry – male married to Joanne with an acting age of 50-70
Jamie & Paul – male couple with an acting age of 30-40
Sarah – female with an acting age of 30-50
Harry – male, married to Sarah with an acting age of 30-50
Jenny – female with an acting age of 30-50
David – male, married to Jenny with an acting age of 30-50
Susan – female with an acting age of 30-50
Peter – male, married to Susan with an acting age of 30-50
Andy, PJ, Theo – male, the “love interests” of Bobbie with an acting age of 25-40
One of the “love interests” could be female and add to the diversity
Despite being written more than 50 years ago, this musical is still fresh and relevant to modern audiences and modern life and five years on from the most recent revival I’m excited about exploring more opportunities to bring the modern world into our own production.