The Belgian premiere of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical Company is scheduled for Sept. 15 at the Theater ’t Eilandje in Antwerp, Belgium. Opening night in The Netherlands will be Sept. 23 at the Theater aan de Parade in 's Hertogenbosch. Company will tour through Belgium and The Netherlands until Jan. 15, 2000.
Company marks the first production of the Royal Ballet of Flanders’ Musical Division, for which Stephen Sondheim wrote both the music and the lyrics. West Side Story for which Sondheim wrote the lyrics was first produced by the RBF in 1990.
Company is based on several one-act plays by George Furth and is concerned with the human foibles and uncertainties exposed by married life. Company opened on Broadway on April 26, 1970, at the Alvin Theatre where it ran for 706 performances. The musical was originally produced and directed by Harold Prince. Company was recently revived both on Broadway and in London.
The cast is led by Jan Schepens, who played several parts (including Marius) in the Antwerp production of Les Misérables, in the central role of Robert, the bachelor everyone wants to see married. Other parts are played by Gerdy Swennen, Marc Krone, Hilde Van Wesepoel, Raymond Kurvers, Marloes van den Heuvel, Myriam Bronzwaar, David Verbeeck, Hans van Gelder, Anne Mie Gils, Dirk Van Vaerenbergh, Joyce Stevens, Kristien Coenen, Annemieke Van Der Veer, Maike Boerdam, Kristen Cools, Frank Hoelen and Jasper Verheugd.
Company is directed by Caroline Frerichs, with choreography by Martin Michel. Max Smeets is musical director and Company is translated into Dutch by Allard Blom. --by Maxim Bezembinder