Theater Arts Caltech, a diverse group of Caltech undergrads/grads/staff/alums, JPL and associated community members, dives headfirst into the Sondheim revival with a contemporary spin on the 1970 musical Company, directed by Brian Brophy. This frank examination on the nature of relationships, marriage and the state of solitude in our post-modern era introduces us to Bobby, an urbanite living in New York City who, on the eve of a seminal birthday, begins to see through the cracks in the seemingly perfect relationships around him and asks plaintively: "What do you get?"
The role of the charming misfit Bobby is played with extraordinary sensitivity by Steve Markham, a PhD student in Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech, while the married couples, former flames and casual flings that constitute Bobby's trove of emotional spirit guides are brought to life by the talented band of Theater Arts Caltech players. Choreographer Dr. Crystal Dilworth dynamizes the story with her trademark lyrical intensity and humor in spectacular dance sequences, while musical director Scott Lehmkuhl, a long-time core member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducts a multi-piece band through some of Sondheim's most memorable and intricate works, such as "Company", "Not Getting Married Today", "Another Hundred People", "Ladies Who Lunch", and "Being Alive".
This particular Sondheim sets itself apart in that it has a darker tonality and "explores more realism with characters and situations," said Lehmkuhl. Written in 1969 by Sondheim and George Furth, this musical "continues to capture the range of desire by humans in need of contact with each other," according to Brian Brophy, head of Theater Arts at Caltech. "Many of the early critiques thrown at Company refer to Bobby as 'being in the closet'. This production dispels that notion and disrupts the heteronormative universe by democratizing same-sex unions in the casting of the five couples. These casting decisions reflect the diversity of our Caltech community and offer a glimpse into the continued struggle to find our most truly authentic self."
This event is presented by Theater Arts Caltech with support from Caltech Student Affairs, TIAA, the Moore Hufstedler Fund and the many generous supporters of live theater at Caltech.
Performances begin February 24 in Ramo Auditorium on the Caltech campus and tickets can be purchased in advance through the Caltech Ticket Office at (626) 395-4652 or visit http://tacit.caltech.edu/shows/1617company for more information:
Pricing is as follows:
$5 students / $9 staff/faculty/JPL / $18 general admission.