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Popular Sondheim musical 'Company' set to open at University Theatre

Monday, February 27, 2017

LAWRENCE — Considered a trailblazer of the dark comedy, modern musical genre and featuring many of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs, “Company” provides a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. March 3-4 and March 10-11 and 2:30 p.m. March 5 and March 12 in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre at Murphy Hall.

“Sondheim is a true genius of the idiom,” said Leslie Bennett, director, choreographer and associate theatre professor. “Because his score and libretto are so complex and beautifully written, each rehearsal or prep session uncovers more human and expressive truths in his art.”

KU theatre students are integral to this popular, seven-time Tony Award-winning musical being brought to life at University Theatre. Several musicals were discussed, but “Company” caused the most excitement. Bennett jumped at the chance to direct.

“It is such a rich, complex and funny piece, featuring an amazing score and deeply human, flawed and lovable characters,” Bennett said.

“Company” follows Robert, a 35-year-old bachelor contemplating his unmarried state as he’s surrounded by married friends and single women keen on taking him off the market. Through a hilarious array of interactions, Robert’s journey toward a different understanding of the meaning of love is at the heart of the musical.

Bennett sees Robert’s story as universal. Every audience member no doubt will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the characters onstage.

The company includes Timothy Alderman, Chicago senior, as Harry; Bronwen Capshaw, Burbank, California, senior, as Joanne; Robert Crone, Emporia junior, as Larry; Rendi Renee Doran, Stilwell junior, as Kathy; Francesca Haynes, Overland Park senior, as Amy; Connor Hodes, Kansas City freshman, as April; Victoria Kilkenny, Shawnee junior, as Jenny; Ethan Malin, Wamego sophomore, as Peter; Schyler Merrils, Wichita junior, as Paul; Cale Morrow, Dodge City senior, as Bobby; Matthew O’Brien, Kirkwood, Missouri, freshman, as David; Noelle Olson, Lawrence senior, as Susan; Abby Sharp, Rossville senior, as Marta; Abbey Lynn Smith, Altamont junior, as Sarah; Lusie Cuskey, Louisville, Kentucky, doctoral student, dramaturg; Jordan Grant, Chicago senior, stage manager; Martha Keslar, Lawrence junior, assistant stage manager; and Chelsea Pitts, Topeka graduate student, costume designer.

The rest of the company includes Ryan McCall, KU theatre accompanist and composer, musical director; Ann Sitzman, KU theatre technical coordinator, lighting designer, and Kelly Vogel, KU theatre visiting assistant professor, scenic designer.

Tickets for “Company” are on sale now at KU ticket offices and online at www.kutheatre.com. Tickets are also available by calling the University Theatre, 785-864-3982, and the Lied Center, 785-864-ARTS. Tickets are $22 for adults, $21 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. KU student tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

For more information on the Department of Theatre visit www.theatre.ku.edu. For more information on the University Theatre, visit www.KUTheatre.com. Follow KU Theatre on Twitter and Facebook.


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