THEATER REVIEW: “Company” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]
Review by Macey Levin
There is a gem of a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company at Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield. Everything about it is virtual perfection from the set to the acting to the voices and especially the soaring, insightful score.
Sondheim wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy in the ’50s; the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle and Do I Hear a Waltz? in the ’60s. But the Age of Sondheim began in 1970 with Company.
The show, labelled a concept musical, was a ground-breaker. It eschewed the expected structure of exposition, conflict, crisis, climax and conclusion in favor of a series of related scenes each adding an element to the writer’s thematic ideas. In 2008 Thomas Hischak wrote in The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television: “The concept musical truly arrived with Company, a musical that managed to be palatable to audiences even as it broke just about every rule of musical comedy.”
NOTE: Due to popular demand, the run of Company at Barrington Stage Co. has been extended through Sunday, September 10…