On Friday, March 6, Iowa City Community Theatre will open its fifth show of the 64th season as Stephen Sondheim’s Company takes to the stage. The run of two weekends (Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.) will end a week before the composer’s 90th birthday and the April 50th anniversary of the show opening on Broadway.
Director Rachel Korach Howell has taken a fresh view of the show in casting a variety of couples that reflect the families and love interests of a newer generation. The names have remained the same as we recognize relationships unfold that our friends and neighbors experience in their own lives. We come to see these relationships, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, through the eyes of Robert, or Bobby, as you may know him, on the eve of his 35th birthday.
Bobby, our protagonist, is portrayed by Rich LeMay. LeMay is no stranger to the area theater audiences, but he is known more as a director, set designer, fight coordinator, etc. His last onstage appearance came in ICCT’s production of Blood Wedding. In Company, LeMay is carrying the weight of the show on his shoulders. He has very little down time as he visits with each of his friends in their own homes over the course of the plot. He reflects on the numerous times they have tried to set him up, and on those liaisons in which he has been a party. Frequently, he finds himself the odd man out as his friends move and evolve in their relationships with each other. LeMay sees the role of Bobby as a “great experience in a great musical.”
Anne Ohrt portrays one of those friends. Although she has been acting in the Corridor for years, this is her first show at Iowa City Community Theatre. She “love(s) Sondheim. I listen to this music and I pick up themes, musical motifs, that Sondheim will use again in other shows.” She has performed in several Sondheim shows over her career, but can see, in this one, the genesis of the genius Sondheim became in subsequent years.
Greg Tucker last appeared on the ICCT stage as Dicken in The Secret Garden. In addition to acting, he is contributing to the show by designing and building several benches to be used in the musical. Tucker is a gifted woodworker and carpenter. “I’ve worked with Rachel a few times over recent years in the area theaters. She keeps finding new ways that I can grow and stretch on stage. I thought I could just help out in the background, but she keeps drawing me into the foreground!”
Come for the Company and stay for an evening of wonderful music by Stephen Sondheim. You’ll be glad you did! Tickets for Company are available by contacting the box office at 319-338-0443 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also available at www.iowacitycommunitytheatre.org/tickets. Prices are $19 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. Due to the mature nature of the themes of the show, this show may not be appropriate for some children ($11).