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Company at Subiaco Arts Centre

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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Get some good Company as Sondheim shines on stage
Stephen Sondheim is famous for West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Gypsy has said his musical comedy Company was designed to explore upper middle-class people and their problems.

Former "I Will Survive

This sensational Broadway show won six Tony Awards – including best musical – when it was first produced in 1970 and will come alive at the Subiaco Arts Centre this May, focusing on relationships and their complications through song.

The plot revolves around the extremely good-looking Bobby who, after celebrating his 35th birthday, still can't commit to a steady relationship although wants to share his life with someone.

Looking at how Bobby interacts with his three girlfriends and the five married couples who are his best friends, Company was one of the first musicals to deal with adult problems through its lyrics and melodies.

he dating game gets nasty in the musical comedy "Company

The team behind the successful productions of Oliver! and Les Miserables at the Regal in 2012 are back again for another year of shows, starting with Company co-directed by Mark Barford and Brendan Hanson with musical direction from Jangoo Chapkhana.

Presented by the ICW Performing Arts Association (a charity that helps performers with disability), producer Ian Westrip described it as one of the great Sondheim musicals with wonderful insights into the human condition.

"Bobby celebrates his single status as he witnesses all the various aspects of marriage problems and circumstances with his friends," he said.

"But he gradually changes to grasp the idea that being alone is not the best of human conditions."

Co-director Brendan Hanson plays Bobby, after a memorable performance as Jean Valjean in ICW's production of Les Miserables in November and coming sixth in the Channel 10 reality show I Will Survive.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… should Bobby (Brendan Hanson) pick Kathy (Emma Davis, left), Marta (Elethea Sartorelli) or April (Heather Lawler) in the musical comedy "Company"?

"I feel we need to bring these iconic musicals to Perth if we can, also providing opportunities to our local artists at the same time," Westrip said.

"If we can do this and also create a profile for the charity while providing sophisticated entertainment, then we are fulfilling a great community commitment.

"This is one of the most artistically accessible, thought-provoking musicals that can appeal to all."

With 40 years' experience singing, conducting, directing and lecturing, Westrip was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his services to music as a performer and teacher in 1998.

"I am very keen for others to believe we have excellent talent here in WA that needs to be nurtured and exploited," he said.

"The difficulty is producing a quality production with a minimum budget while letting everyone know the show is on and worth the experience.

"To get artists of quality, which we have, requires a great amount of faith in me and the company.

"We have a wonderful team of artists and support crew that deserve to be supported – not only because of the product but because of their commitment to the art."

Company plays at 7.30pm, May 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a 2pm matinee also on May 4. Book through Ticketek or on 132 849.

The ICW Performing Arts Association is also offering a special deal: buy two tickets for Company and receive one free ticket for Cats in July. The deal is only available by calling 0416 251 265.

The Subiaco Arts Centre is at 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco.

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Why? A sensational Broadway musical comedy
When: 7:30pm & 2:00pm
Phone: 0417 969 984
Where: Subiaco Arts Centre, 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco
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