A&E

Las Vegas Little Theatre’s ‘Company’ asks its questions in song

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The cast of Company rehearses.
Courtesy
Molly O'Donnell

Three stars

Company January 19-February 4, Thursday-Sunday, times vary, $21-$24. Las Vegas Little Theatre, 702-362-7996.

One of the timeless social pressures of both comedy and life is marriage. Once you’re in your 30s, everyone from your mother to your neighborhood barista inevitably begins to question your marital status. Sometimes it seems as if the first thing people do after they get married is try to convince everyone around them to do the same. If you happen to be single, God help you. Whether this pressure is a case of misery loving company or more being merrier is perhaps an eternal question. Nevertheless, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company attempts to answer it. And from January 19 through February 4, the Las Vegas Little Theatre will have its own go with a mainstage production of the musical.

Setting this version in the 1970s world of the original play, director Walter Niejadlik purposefully takes on the work’s timeless aspects, arguing that “the show is relevant: We see Bobby [played by Adam Dunson], a New York City bachelor who, like anyone, feels alone but is having trouble connecting or committing to another person.”

Bobby’s conundrum is the topic of debate, speculation, and outright argument between his married friends—five couples who hash out the issue in a series of nonlinear musical vignettes. These couples’ various problems, including infidelity, alcoholism, undisclosed bisexuality, divorce and run-of-the-mill annoyance, are paired with Bobby’s flawed exes and dates, and they do more to confuse him than help to resolve his indecision. Once again, though, as in life, so in art—the journey is the thing. The fun for audiences will be in the en route dialogue, rife with sarcasm and wit, not to mention infectious musical numbers like “Getting Married Today” and “Being Alive.”

The music—presented by a nine-piece live band of woodwinds, brass, drums and more—is the aspect most likely to set the Little Theatre’s production apart. Niejadlik explains that having a live-music component became essential after last season. “We ran A Little Night Music as part of our foray into the Sondheim canon, and the band really was a hit with our patrons,” Niejadlik says.

Adding nine musicians to the already-large 14-member cast makes for a lot of moving parts. With luck, the extra hands will make the show as popular with audiences as the last Sondheim production, accentuating the pluses of being in good company, quirks, complexities and all.

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