Instrument-Toting Company of John Doyle's Company Headed for Broadway

News   Instrument-Toting Company of John Doyle's Company Headed for Broadway
 
The original cast of Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park production of Company will make the transfer to Broadway intact, according to director John Doyle.

"We didn't want to get into any Broadway recast kind of behavior," Doyle explained to Playbill.com. "I just thought so many people in that show came to Cincinnati to do that piece with me, some of them — with no disrespect to Cincinnati — might not have gone to Cincinnati under other circumstances. So, my loyalty to them is huge."

The decision also seemed right to the director for other reasons: "Mr. Sondheim is thrilled with them, so why would we want to change?," he posed, adding, "and anyway, how many people are there walking around who can play the French horn and sing 'Getting Married Today'? You know, it's a limited pool."

The acclaimed production — which uses the same technique as the director's current Tony Award-nominated Sweeney Todd on Broadway — casts actor-musicians in the roles of the Stephen Sondheim musical. Following its recent Ohio run, The Routh/Frankel/Viertel/Baruch Group will produce the revival on Broadway in November at a theatre to be announced.

Raul Esparza lead Company as Bobby with an ensemble that included: Barbara Walsh as Joanne; Keith Buterbaugh as Harry; Matt Castle as Peter; Robert Cunningham as Paul; Angel Desai as Marta; Kelly Jeanne Grant as Kathy; Kristin Huffman as Sarah; Amy Justman as Susan; Heather Laws as Amy; Leenya Rideout as Jenny; Fred Rose as David; Bruce Sabath as Larry; Elizabeth Stanley as April.

Doyle reset the action of the work in 2006 with characters dressed in very upscale, very urban black costumes. Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the respected Manhattan music director and arranger, serves as the production's music supervisor and orchestrator.

In addition to Doyle and Campbell, the creative team includes David Gallo (set designer), Ann Hould-Ward (costume designer) and Thomas C. Hase (lighting designer).

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park billed the show as "a revolutionary, unconventional look at love and commitment in a complex modern world. The show is a remarkably honest, clever and sophisticated portrayal of five married couples as seen through the eyes of their mutual friend Bobby, a bachelor weighing the pros and cons of wedded life."

The original 1970 Broadway production was honored with the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical as well as six Tony Awards, including those for music and lyrics (Stephen Sondheim's first), book, scenic design, director and best musical.

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