Blake Stage Company kicked off their run of the musical Company last weekend with their first show Friday, Nov. 15 and second show Saturday, Nov. 16.
Stephen Sondheim’s Company follows the story of Bobby (seniors Joseph Lee and Dorian Toussaint), a 35-year old man incapable of holding a steady relationship, as he contemplates the advantages and disadvantages of marriage with his 10 married friends and his three girlfriends.
While the musical’s underlying theme is arguably tailored to a more mature audience, the cast members’ near-expert line deliveries and vocal artistry make the show enjoyable for most everyone.
As audience members are awaiting the show’s beginning, they are treated to amusing, interactive skits performed by members of that night’s ensemble. This is a new feature of the Stage Company’s productions that helps to set a humorous tone expounded upon in the musical. We hope to see more of these pre-show bits in future Stage Company shows.
The set designs also catch the audience’s eye, featuring distinct settings including a terrace, living rooms with sofas, and, in a display of pure ingenuity and innovation, a convertible panel that splits down the middle with a bar on one side and a kitchenette counter on the other. The crown jewel of the set is undoubtedly the beautiful, color-filled, hand-painted backdrop of New York City, brought to life by senior Grace Rose.
Playing background effects and songs for every character, pianist senior Connor Crotzer created lively tones for the music and acting. Every actor did a wonderful job sticking to their characters and developing a clear-cut personality. The chorus harmonized angelically and each soloist knocked their songs out of the park.
The performances that certainly warrant a shoutout were those of junior Abbie Hancock and senior Bronwyn Weikert who played Amy. They are being commended for their ability to perfectly articulate their solos’ lyrics at breakneck speed with amazing intonation. Their solos were engaging, memorable, and had every member of the audience on the edge of their seats.
In terms of acting, the witty, perfectly-timed banter between Jack Elkins and Logan Delevan-Hoover (Sarah and Harry, respectively) epitomized the nuanced nature of the themes at the crux of the musical. Their acting was top-notch.
In an interview before the cast’s show preview, performed Friday, Nov. 15 in the art gallery, Toussaint said the Stage Company members enjoyed rehearsals, having plenty of fun while they worked hard to bring the show together.
It is safe to say that their determination and comradery are evident in their performances. The Blake Stage Company is brimming with talent.
Company, which runs Thursday, Nov. 21 (Student Night with $5 tickets), Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23 is a must-see! Doors open at 7:15 PM for all three shows.