Theater Info for the Washington DC region

George C. Marshall High School Company

By • Apr 27th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

George C. Marshall ambitiously, and successfully, took on a challenging and powerful production in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Originally performed on Broadway in 1970, where it garnered six Tony awards, it also won a Tony in 2006 for best revival of a musical.

From Left to Right: First Row: Michael Bradford; Second Row: Kelsey Kolbe, Mace Smith, Emily Hemminson, Scott Anderson, Kiran Kestenbaum; Third Row: Meary O'Malley, Orla Conway. (Photo taken by Nathan Wunderlich)
From Left to Right: First Row: Michael Bradford; Second Row: Kelsey Kolbe, Mace Smith, Emily Hemminson, Scott Anderson, Kiran Kestenbaum; Third Row: Meary O’Malley, Orla Conway. (Photo taken by Nathan Wunderlich)

Bobby (Michael Bradford), a mid-30’s bachelor in New York City, is the perpetual focus of attention from his friends, six couples in various stages of marriage, living together, and parenthood. The play opens and ends with Bobby in front of his birthday cake, and the discussion of time, age, and relationships (or the lack thereof) occupy the action throughout the play. Company chronicles Bobby’s voyage of self-discovery, and along the way squarely confronts such topical and controversial issues as recreational drug use, casual sex, and extramarital affairs.

Company is graced with a strong cast, from the lead through the supporting ensemble of couples. Bradford carries his multiple solos with vocal strength and a quietly commanding presence. Ellen Chapin (Amy) delivers a knockout performance with “Getting Married Today,” and the trio of Bobby’s girlfriends Marta (Orla Conway), April (Hannah Rak), and Kathy (Meara O’Malley) perfectly harmonized in “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” Kiran Kestenbaum (Joanne) belted out a powerhouse rendition of “Ladies Who Lunch,” skillfully highlighting the irony of her contempt for the very position she holds in society. The entire ensemble showed an impressive singing and dancing combination in “Side By Side,” an intricately choreographed tap number. Moreover, Jamal West and Lizzy Gray silently yet gracefully added another dimension with their Pas de Deux dance number. Allie Rosenbluth also sensuously mirrored the feelings between Bobby and April in the Tick Tock Ballet.

The spare yet effective set changed easily from scene to scene, its metamorphosis provided by the speedy yet unobtrusive stage crew. The artistic effects of the backdrop lighting greatly enhanced the overall mood and power of the characters’ encounters. Sondheim’s unique and challenging score was nevertheless competently performed by the pit orchestra.

Groundbreaking and edgy in 1970, this updated revival captures the same emotion and energy of the original production. The George C. Marshall thespians became a cohesive cast and crew, resulting in smashing success of Saturday night’s performance of Company.

Company will also be performed this weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2 at 7:30PM with a Sunday matinee at 4:00PM. Don’t miss it.

by Danielle Stockton of The Madeira School

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