In 1970, Stephen Sondheim’s company received a record 14 Tony Award nominations. The story centers on Robert, a confirmed bachelor, a beloved man living in New York, who celebrates his 35th birthday with a collection of his married friends. It is told through short, non-linear vignettes tied together by his birthday party. When Company debuted, there was a culture shock defined by the conservative expectations of the 1950s and the question-everything ethos of the “baby boomer” generation in the 1960s. It was the first piece to approach topics like dating, marriage, and divorce through a then-contemporary lens.
Sean Gray, artistic director of the Long Beach Playhouse, is the show’s director. Gray said: “I’ve always loved this show. Sondheim once said that Company doesn’t let the audience escape the world, it puts them right in their face.
“I find Robert’s journey of self-examination fascinating. It’s something we can all relate to in some way – we look at our lives and try to make sense of what works for us. us and what we hide; what it means to have true intimacy with another person, and whether we need a committed relationship to be happy. And Sondheim ensures that this journey is made with spirit and wisdom, which is the perfect combination.
Executive Director Madison Mooney said: “Although this show is now 52 years old, it is still as relevant as it was in 1970. Whether single, married, divorced or somewhere in between, we we’re all wondering what’s next in our lives.”
It’s a great cast, 14 actors, a mix of those returning to the Playhouse and those making their debut. The returning cast members are Cris Cortez, Serena Bottiani Henderson, Kelsey Weinstein, Mabel Schreffler, Megan Cherry and Carole Louise. The first actors are Daniel Berlin, Lea Mano, Adolfo Becerra, Barry Ko, Minhquan Nguyen, Brian Moe, Colleen McCandless and Sasha Badia.
Mooney concluded by saying, “This is a great play for the summer. It’s touching, funny, full of great music, great costumes and wonderful actors.”
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR THIS COIN:
Pay What You Can Thursday June 30 – the community can see this production for all they can afford
Two for a preview on Friday, July 1 – Tickets are $10.00
Opening Champagne Reception with giveaway on July 2 – Tickets are $27.00
Sponsored by the Port of Long Beach
Friday: $20.00 for adults, $18.00 for seniors and $14.00 for students
Saturday and Sunday: adults are $24.00, seniors $21.00 and students $14.00.
Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.