Bobby is an Immature Dick: COMPANY

61495_549787648449858_87023996_n Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music & lyrics By Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music directed by Dan Rodriguez
Super fun choreography by Rachel Bertone

February 7 – March 1, 2014
Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street, Boston’s South End
Moonbox on Facebook

Every ticket benefits: Music for Food

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) They say that Stephen Sondheim is one of those composers that people either love or hate. I disagree. There is so much in his catalogue that there could easily be something for everyone. Company, like Sondheim himself, is one of those shows that people have decided others love or hate. Again, I disagree. There are many moments in Company that are golden. Some are not. Depending how much one enjoys Sondheim (or not) opinion fluctuates greatly. This production by Moonbox has several golden moments that I feel reflect the truths Sondheim sharing in his musical. Other moments are not so effective.

For the uninitiated, Company is a musical about rich, married, White people who try to convince their friend, Bobby, to get married, too. Bobby is an immature dick who knows nothing about women. He is incapable of emotional commitment or serious self-examination. While exploring the relationships of his friends, Bobby learns nothing. Meanwhile, the couples around him remain the same. This show isn’t about growth. It is about love.

I wanted very much for Moonbox’s production to be a unanimous success. Alas, it is not meant to be. Although the actors have developed impressive chemistry and their characters are mostly impeccable their work with the orchestra is lacking. The music was a mishmash of tones and missed cut-offs. While the actors are doing their damndest to keep up with music director Dan Rodriguez, the orchestra wasn’t listening to them. In fact, the orchestra appeared as if they weren’t paying attention to Rodriguez either. No one was working together and the performance suffered.

Dave Carney looks like a “Bobby.” He’s attractive and funny. While I can’t abide Bobby as a character; Carney made his Bobby rather likeable. His acting was spot on but Carney does not have the vocals for Bobby – yet. It sounds like there is room in his voice for Bobby’s music but his casting in this production was premature.

Leigh Barrett (Joanne) and Katie Clark (April) were perfect in their roles. I wish the show were about them instead of Bobby.

Bless them, the tech crew worked like a well-oiled machine. An enlightened tech crew is hard to find.

Marriage means many things to many people. It can mean apologizing for things you didn’t know you did, supporting your spouse even when they are wrong, sharing illnesses and burritos, etc. It can mean having kids or monthly therapist appointments. Marriage means a long term commitment to an actual, honest to God person (rather than to expectations or assumptions). Sondheim understand this. He paints Company’s married characters as fallible, capable of wrong and right. Songs such as “Sorry-Grateful” capture this perfectly. If only the entire show were as perfect as this one song. If Company were about the nature and nurturing of couples instead of Bobby’s… whatever it is that happens to him in this show, it would be enjoyable. Instead, Bobby is constantly lurking around every corner reminding us how painfully hard it is to find someone who not only puts up with our BS but loves loves us anyway.

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