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Sondheim’s <i>Company</i> tackles the age-old questions —musically

HAVE YOU ever been accosted by a caring friend who insisted that your life was incomplete without the joys of married life? Imagine how much greater your apprehension would be, then, if instead of one friend you were assaulted by the good intentions of ten.

Such is the luck of Robert, the object of persuasion in the Savannah Community Theatre’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

In this upbeat reprisal of the Broadway musical, Robert is given a surprise birthday party by his friends, including five different couples in various stages of marriage. The show cuts out from the party and back to different evenings that Robert has spent with each couple.

While the company and happenings differ each time, the same question is inevitably asked of the 35 year old bachelor — why hasn’t he found someone to marry?

Between the party and these outings, the couples are busy extolling the virtues and pitfalls of married life and each proves eager to fix Robert up with just the right girl. But between the jittery newlyweds, comfortable mid-lifers, volatile wife/complacent husband combination, and the divorcees that still live together, Robert is just not sure marriage is for him.

“This is a great look at marriage,” notes director Tom Coleman. “No matter who you are you’ll be able to identify either with one of the couples or an individual character.”

Elizabeth Brewster speaks about her character, Sarah, saying, “She’s really sweet, but her sweetness kind of covers up her controlling nature. She and her husband Harry understand each other and interact in a way that almost seems mean, but it’s not.”

One character that could certainly be seen as a bit harsh is Joanne, played by Renee DeRossett. “She’s an older, feistier gal with a bit of an attitude. She can be abrasive towards her husband Larry, but he loves her to death.”

DeRossett is thrilled about this play, especially her role as it has been a favorite of hers since it opened on Broadway. “The music is wonderful and Tom is so precise with the timing and how he wants things done,” she explains. “Savannah is going to love it.”

Precision is key, especially with so large an ensemble cast. Between the music and dance numbers, things must be spot-on for it all to come together. While it would appear to be a dwarfing task, the cast seem take it in stride.

“The very thing that’s challenging is also the best part,” explains Brewster. “There’s a lot of interjection and banter, making every character matter.”

Aside from making his character count, Kyle Price, who plays Robert, really wants to get the bachelor’s struggle to come across to those watching.

“I want to have the audience understand what he’s going through,” explains Price. “Some people get married right out of school, some just know marriage isn’t for them, but Robert is somewhere in between.”

“It’s about different personalities and who they are,” moves Linda Combs, who plays Jenny. “It’s like going to a party and meeting a group of interesting people. People will get to laugh and be thoroughly entertained.” cs


Where: Savannah Community Theatre, 2160 E. Victory Dr.

When: Jan. 22-23 at 7:30pm, Jan. 25 at 3pm, Feb. 6-7 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 8 at 3 p.m.

Cost: $10-25