Saturday, October 17, 2015

COMPANY



COMPANY
Book by George Furth
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Jordan Best
Everyman Theatre production
The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan until 24 October

Review by Len Power 16 October 2015

Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’, is the story of a man unable to commit to a serious relationship and his interaction with a group of married friends.  Its dissection of marriage and relationships is very funny but very real.

The show requires an ensemble of performers able to handle both the complex score and the in depth characterisations.  This is not a light musical.  Under the surface there’s a lot going on and the cast and director have to bring this out for the show to work.

Jordan Best’s production of this show is a huge success in every aspect.  It moves swiftly with smooth transitions between scenes on a simple but clever set by Michael Sparks and the lighting by Kelly McGannon has been well-designed to complement the setting.  It’s crucial to be able to hear every word of the songs in this show and Steve Allsop’s sound design maintains a perfect balance between the onstage orchestra and the singers.

In the leading role of Bobby, the man who cannot commit, Jarrad West gives a commanding performance.  His singing of ‘Marry Me A Little’ and ‘Being Alive’ are just two of the highlights of this show.  The cast of fourteen all have their moments to shine.  Everyone will have their favourite moments in this show.  Jordan Best’s food orgasm was hysterically funny.  Vanessa De Jager’s singing of ‘Another Hundred People’ and Will Huang’s heartfelt leading vocal for ‘Sorry-Grateful’ were superbly done.  Amy Dunham’s butterfly story and Tim Sekuless’s unexpected yearning were skilfully done.  The dancing of the ‘Tick Tock’ ballet by Michelle Norris was brilliant.  Laura Dawson stopped the show twice with her extraordinary performance of ‘Getting Married Today’ and Karen Vickery excelled in her rendition of ‘The Ladies who Lunch’.

The choreography by James Batchelor is superb, especially in the ‘You Could Drive A Person Crazy’ and ‘Side by Side by Side’ numbers.  This is a choreographer who understands what a Broadway musical needs.

Tim Hansen’s musical direction and the playing of the orchestra was excellent as was Michelle Klemke’s team of backup singers.

This really is a stunning show.  Don’t miss it.

Len Power’s reviews can also be heard on Artsound FM 92.7’s ‘Artcetera’ program on Saturdays from 9am.

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