Gina Wilhelm Actress – “Company” at Seattle Musical Theatre
Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” opened this weekend at Seattle Musical Theatre and is playing through February 28. I had the opportunity to see the show today, and I highly recommend it.
The play was groundbreaking when it premiered, telling a story in associated vignettes, rather than as a linear narrative.
The play tells the story of Robert, played by Ryan Demerick, on his 35th birthday. Robert’s married friends are throwing him a birthday party. Throughout the play, Robert and his friends reflect on marriage.
The whole cast, made up of SMT veterans and a few strong newcomers, is very strong, handling the intricate rhythms and harmonies masterfully.
Standouts include Demerick, who has much of the weight of the show on his shoulders, and must make frequent rapid mood shifts throughout. His “Being Alive” was poignant.
Allison Standley, as Marta, has a strong voice on “Another Hundred People,” extolling the virtues of Manhattan, before having a fun dialogue with Robert.
Kat Schroeder, last seen at SMT as Ulla in “The Producers,” brilliantly portrayed frantic neurosis in her patter song “Getting Married Today.”
Dawn Brazell gives a powerful performance as Joanne, a “difficult woman,” who is brashy and strident. Her “The Ladies Who Lunch” was a revealing insight into the character.
Finally, Danielle Barnum, was played the title character in “Jane Eyre,” was adorable as April. Her performance was all the more impressive for the contrast between the two characters.
April and Robert have the duet “Barcelona,” which can be dull and pedantic, but here was charming.
The high point of the show for me was their scene together before that duet. The characters connected well with each other and the audience.
“Company” runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. They also have a 7:30 performance on Thursday, February 25.
The address for Magnuson Park is 7400 Sand Point Way NE. The theater is in building 47. Directions and maps are also on the SMT website.
The website also has a “study guide” for the play. Come find out why Sondheim called “Company” his favorite show he’s written!