THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>Company</em>&nbsp;at Onstage in Bedford

Review: Company | Onstage in Bedford | Trinity Arts Theater


In Good 'Company'

Onstage in Bedford tackles the complex Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, to mostly excellent effect.



published Thursday, October 15, 2015

 

Photo: James Jamison
Company at Onstage in Bedford

Bedford — It’s a rare community theater company—or professional one, for that matter—brave enough to take on Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 masterpiece Company. The show serves as a quirky, weirdly wonderful bridge between Sondheim’s fairly traditional early theater work (Gypsy) and his later work (the atonally brilliant Sweeney Todd and Assassins).

As such, Company features both those tunes that you simply can’t get out of your mind (the title song, the peppy “Side by Side by Side/What Would We Do Without You”) and the lyrically challenging, deliciously off-kilter tunes that earned him the reputation of being “unhummable” (the nightmarishly unsingable “Another Hundred People”—although talented Katreeva Phillips pulls it off with few glitches—and the devastating “Being Alive”).

We give major props to Onstage in Bedford, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary season, for giving Company a go. That said, the production has its ups and downs, much as Robert, the main character (Aaron C. White) has his.

As the show opens, “Bobby-baby, Bobby-booby, Robert darling” is facing his 35th birthday surrounded by a quintet of couples who comprise his best friends—amazing that they’re as close as they are given Sondheim’s cynical view of New York, which he calls “a city of strangers." The lyricist-composer’s take on marriage is even dimmer; the various couples argue, freak out over getting married and at the same time wonder wistfully when Bobby will take the plunge.

Photo: James Jamison
Company at Onstage in Bedford

The first half of Onstage’s take swerves from adequate to, well, better-than-adequate. But by Act Two the cast presents a much more cohesive, entertaining and consistent whole. White suffers from a smile that can seem smarmy; at times you’ll wonder if he’s going to try to sell you a used car. He smiles even when he’s singing about pain. During the big Act Two anthem “Being Alive,” however, White finally gains control of his grin and his Robert emerges as a genuine, sympathetic character.

Most of the couples are cast nicely by director Ashley H. White, with the exception of one actress who wasn’t dissuaded from a truly horrible “Southern” accent. Phillips, the very definition of “long tall drink of water” as one of Bobby’s trio of girlfriends, has the ability to twist her body and face so hilariously I was reminded of a young Carol Burnett.

Also excellent: the gorgeous-voiced Noelle Mason as Jenny, Jacie Hood Wenzel as the ditzy bombshell Kathy, Shannon Walsh as manic Amy, Angela Allen as frenetic Sarah and Christine Chambers, who as Joanne gets one of Sondheim’s most iconic numbers, the viciously observant “Being Alive.” The men are fine, but the women get all the good stuff here.

The witty choreography by Karen Matheny, and spare but oh-so-‘70s set by Kevin Brown (a conversation pit! A bench seat that magically transforms into a bed!) add much charm to the production.

Sondheim and book author George Furth’s deep distrust of human nature is played mostly for laughs by White’s cast, to overall winning effect. And just as Bobby starts to mature from an overgrown boy into a man, so too does this cast finally find its footing. It’s a long show—but definitely worth sticking around for the ending. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
In Good 'Company'
Onstage in Bedford tackles the complex Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, to mostly excellent effect.
by Joy Tipping

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit