Beginning February 1st, the Williams Street Repertory presents Company at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake. The musical written by George Furth, directed by Richard Kuranda, produced by T. Paul Lowry with music and lyrics by Steven Sondheim is about a single man (Bobby) who is unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let alone marriage. The show is centered on five married couples who are Bobby’s best friends and thee of Bobby’s girlfriends. Company is a series of short stories that are centered on a celebration of Bobby’s 35th birthday. Bobby (played by John Michael Coppola) is conflicted throughout the musical about whether or not he wants to get married. Each time he gets to the point where he is certain marriage is the right for him, spends time with each of his friend “couples” and then becomes unsure. He also is dating three women at the same time April (Dana Parker), Marta (Kate Hein) and Kathy (Theresa Arnod/Kate Wilford). None of his friends or girlfriends can help Bobby determine the best course of his relationship journey.
There are some excellent performances in Richard Kuranda and T. Paul Lowery’s cast including: John Michael Coppola who was in Chicago’s version of Jersey Boys. His singing is magnificent. He will make all of the women (and some of the men) in the audience melt with his voice and his charm. Other standout performances include Williams Street Repertory veterans Kate Hein who played Bobby’s eccentric girlfriend Marta, Amanda Flahive who played the soon to be married Amy and Frank Gaughan who played often drunk husband Larry.
Mark R. Mahallak (Harry) and Amy Ferraro (Sarah), Amanda Flahive (Amy) and J. Matthew Madigan (Paul), Frank Gaughan (Larry) and Mary R. Nigohosian (Joanne), Sarah Breidenbach and Chris David (David) and Matthias Austin (Peter) and Miriam Naponelli (Susan), are the married couple friends of Bobby.
Newcomers to William Street Repertory include: Naponelli, Arnod , Nigohosian and Madigan.
Overall, I thought the show was very entertaining. If you are married, in a relationship, or thinking about it, you can relate to all of the stories and scenarios. They really hit on the joys and disappointments of relationships. There are many scenes and songs that are very relatable for couples, which is why this is a great show for Valentine’s Day. My only criticism of the show was its length. It is a three hour show that had a few scenes that could have been shortened a little – but this was just the dress rehearsal.
Tickets to the show are on sale now online via rauecenter.org, and through the Box Office at 26 N. Williams Street or by calling 815-356-9212. Shows are February 1, February 2, February 8th, February 9th, February 10th, February 15th and February 16th. All shows are at 8:00PM except February 10th which begins at 3:00PM.