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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The cast of “Company” ponders friendship, love and marriage

“Company” opens Oct. 24 at the Bluett Theatre. PHOTO: Courtesy of Melissa Kelly Photography

SJU Theatre Company’s production of the musical comedy “Company” opens this week in Bluett Theatre.

With music and lyrics composed by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, “Company” premiered on Broad- way in 1970. It was nominated for 14 Tony Awards and received six, including Best Musical in 1971.

“It has a great message about love and about finding a life partner,” said the show’s director Renee Dobson, M.F.A., associate professor of performing arts.

“Company” is set in New York City and follows Robert, who is called “Bobby,” and his friends. Bobby is single and unable to commit to a relationship. The musical revolves around Bobby’s 35th birthday celebration. A group of married friends and three girlfriends gather to celebrate and weigh in on his fear of commitment.

Samantha Jenkins ’21 plays the role of April, a naive flight attendant and one of Bobby’s girlfriends.

“It’s not like a traditional musical,” Jenkins said. “It’s more abstract, and it’s really entertaining. But then also towards the end, you learn some lessons along the way. So, you’ll be laughing, but you’ll also be left with lots of stuff to think about afterwards.”

Dobson said she chose the show not only because it’s a Sondheim production but because of all of the female roles in the show for the many musical theatre majors who are women. But the challenge for these women is playing characters who are in their 30s, Dobson said.

“They have to work through and imagine what that would be like, and they have to creatively find ways to connect with those situations,” Dobson said.

Jenn Tague ’20, who plays Joanne, a pessimist and the oldest of Bobby’s friends, said the show’s humor makes it a “great escape” but one that is also thought-provoking.

“It’s very reflective,” Tague said. “It shows everything that goes on with relationships looking through someone else’s eyes.”

Elise Welsh ’22, who plays the role of Sarah, a character learning karate and struggling with food and dieting, said the musical is about the connections among friends and partners.

“It’s a very good commentary on life and love and marriage,” Welsh said. “Even if you’re not married, it’s still about friendships and relationships romantically. There’s a lot to be learned from the relationships that are shown on stage.”

Jenkins said the musical’s focus on friendships and romantic relationships is why people, no matter who they are or where they are in life, should see the show.

“Anyone that comes see it, there is going to be at least one moment that they relate to and that hits close to home for them,” Jenkins said.

“Company” runs Oct. 24, 25, 26, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, with performances beginning at 8 p.m. There is also a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 3.

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