Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Las Vegas

Company
Las Vegas Little Theatre
Review by Mary LaFrance


Katie Marie Jones, Marissa McCoy, Amanda Collins
and Adam Dunson

Photo by KM2 Creative
For some of us, its hard to believe that 1970 was nearly half a century ago. Robert, the lonely bachelor in Company (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth), would be 83 years old today. Did he ever find a mate? Was he happy in his marriage?

If you want to revisit Robert's 35th birthday, and his attendant soul-searching, Company is receiving a solid production at the Las Vegas Little Theatre through this weekend. Although the musical shows its age a bit notably in its depiction of a stereotypical dumb blonde, it still strikes a universal chord in recognizing the loneliness of the unmated even when surrounded by friends. Robert, known to his many friends as Bobby, has never felt ready to be married, yet is tired of feeling like a third wheel around all of his paired-up friends. While Joshua Harmon plumbs these depths with greater emotional resonance in Significant Other, the cerebral Sondheim brings his inimitable wit and his willingness to explore the dark side of happily-ever-after. Those married couples, Robert discovers, have learned to accept the bad with the good; they have each carved out their unique version of supportive co-existence.

Adam Dunson is a low-key and amiable Robert. For the most part, he sings and acts well, although his voice is sometimes overpowered by the orchestra, and his anachronistic fly-away hair and shaggy beard make him look less like an aging yuppie and more like the GEICO caveman. His face is remarkably expressive under all that fur.

Most of the supporting cast have respectable voices, although some of the acting is a bit forced at times. One standout is Katie Marie Jones; a skillful actress, singer and dancer, Jones is a classic triple-threat who makes April, the not-so-bright flight attendant, both endearing and memorable. Also noteworthy is Amanda Collins as the New York hipster Marta. A skilled comedienne, Collins brings a commanding stage presence and strong vocals to "Another Hundred People." The evening's other musical high points include "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," performed with zeal by Jones, Collins, and Marissa McCoy (as Kathy, Roberts almost-fiancée), and "Getting Married Today," sung with comic flair by April Sauline as Amy, the panicky bride who suffers an existential crisis at the prospect of walking down the aisle. Shana Brouwers brings a light comic touch to Jenny, who becomes giddy after smoking her first joint.

There are a few technical flaws. In "Have I Got a Girl for You," the men wave beer mugs that are meant to look frosted, but look distractingly like they contain frozen milk. Mike Olsen's sound design is somewhat disappointing; the orchestra occasionally overpowers the singers, and the road noise that opens the show sounds more like Interstate 95 than slow-crawling Manhattan traffic.

Ron Lindblom's set design is beautiful. At the center, spanning the full width of the stage, is the Manhattan skyline at night, with lights pouring through the windows of the silhouetted buildings. Its a stylish backdrop for the actors, with the live orchestra nestled behind. On both sides of the stage, the proscenium has been turned into the balconied brick exteriors of apartment buildings.

On the whole, director Walter Niejadlik has paced the show well, although act two falters a bit under the weight of Robert's malaise. April Sauline's choreography is lively and fun, and well-suited to the performers' abilities. The orchestra sounds splendid under Toby McEvoy's musical direction.

Company, through February 4, 2018, at the Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Dr., Las Vegas NV. Performances Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm. For tickets ($24 adults, $21 seniors and students) or further information, go to www.lvlt.org.

Cast:
Robert: Adam Dunson
Larry: Gary Alaimo
Jenny: Shana Brouwers
Marta: Amanda Collins
Joanne: Kim Glover
Peter: Glenn Heath
Harry: Chris Hermening
April: Katie Marie Jones
Kathy: Marissa McCoy
Paul: Ben Rich
Susan: Melissa Riezler
Amy: April Sauline
David: Jake Taylor
Sara: Mary Beth Zentner

Musicians:
Conductor/Keyboard 1: Toby McEvoy
Keyboard 2: Jonathan Tuala, James Mares, Dean Balan
Reed 1: Brian Marsh
Reed 2: Gilbert Castaeda
Reed 3: Turner Norman
Bass: John Kuhlman
Trumpet: Jorge Machain
Trombone: Chandler Sison, Jason Vazquez
Percussion: Manny Gamazo

Additional Creative:
Additional choreography by E. Wayne Worley; lighting design by Ginny Adams; costume design by Rose Scarborough; fight choreography by Tommy Watanabe.


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