NOTE: All PERFORMANCES ARE SOLD OUT
Plymouth, N.H.—Plymouth State University students in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance will perform legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s musical theatre work “Company,” March 11–14 at the Silver Center for the Arts on Main Street in Plymouth.
Performances are March 11–13 at 8 p.m, March 13 at 2 p.m. and March 14 at 3 p.m.
PSU adjunct faculty Morgan Murphy directs the production, with musical direction by professor Kathleen Arecchi and choreography by adjunct faculty Lisa Travis.
The show won six Tony Awards, including best musical, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical.
Set in New York City, “Company” follows five married, once married, or soon to be married couples and their mutual friend, Robert, a 35-year-old-bachelor who has been unable to connect in a long-term relationship. Bobby says all he needs are the “good and crazy people, his married friends.”
The relationships are presented in an expressionistic collage of vignettes, with Bobby as the unifying element thematically, so that the audience sees the less than ideal aspects of commitment. However, it is obvious that the committed couples are happy. Eventually, Bobby learns that while relationships aren’t perfect, they are a necessary part of “being alive” as expressed in the final song of the show.
“Company” began a new and contemporary style of musical when it hit the stage in 1970, and it is still fresh today.
Sondheim said of the show, “Musicals for decades have had … no doubts about the efficacy of a happy ending. And that if you find the right person you may go [on] a bumpy road, rocky road of love … but it would lead to the so-called happy ending. We were saying something ambiguous … (that) there are no endings; it keeps going on. And it’s always difficult to make a contact with, commit and live with somebody, and at the same time, it’s impossible not to. But it’s never going to be easy, and it’s never going to be solved, because it’s not a problem that has a solution. It’s not even a problem — it’s just what life is.”
“Company” presents an intriguing variety from song to song, shifting from 40s sounds to a 70s sensibility, from ballad to Latin beat. There are few conventional dance numbers, “but the whole show moves like a frantic urban ballet,” according to essayist Thomas Hischak.
In his notes for the show Murphy writes, “Many of us live by human connections and define ourselves through them. Today, some believe, you can even find your match on line. Regardless of your preference, each of us has to face the exploration of what company we keep. Who do we let in to our lives? In ‘Company,’ Bobby stands on the brink of this ultimate decision.”
PSU Director of Theatre Elizabeth Cox says, “students have the opportunity to sing complex music when we utilize Sondheim’s work. Sondheim is known as a lyricist who digs deep into the character’s psyche and this allows the student actor to develop a fully realized character.”
Cast members of “Company” at Plymouth State University are:
Robert: Mervin Marvey, a sophomore theatre major from Rustenburg, South Africa;
April: Samantha St. Onge, a sophomore theatre major from Londonderry;
Kathy: Amy Dresser, a senior theatre major from West Arlington, Vt;
Marta: Brady Lynch, a junior theatre major from Amherst;
Amy: Amanda Teneriello, a junior theatre major from Hudson;
Paul: Andrew Freitas, a first-year theatre major from Acushnet, Mass.;
Sarah: ennifer Roach, a sophomore theatre major from Highgate Center, Vt.;
Harry: Rory Diamond, ’a sophomore music major from South Hadley, Mass.;
Jenny: Kaela Raku, a sophomore music education major from Plymouth;
David: Ryan McCall, a senior theatre major from, Bedford;
Joanne: Brandee Peglow, a sophomore theatre major from Pelham;
Larry: Benedict Cesare, sophomore theatre and music major from Boxborough, Mass.;
Susan: Krystal Morin, a junior music education major from Atkinson; and
Peter: Jamie Willis, a sophomore theatre major from East Wallingford, Vt.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $12 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869.