Chanticleer Theatre Presents “Company”

MarieSpecial Events

Bobby is about to celebrate his thirty fifth birthday. He is a bachelor in New York with three girlfriends and five couples who are his best friends. He seems to have it all. Does he?
Productions have been trying to answer this question for nearly fifty years since the musical “Company” hit Broadway in 1970. As Todd Brooks, the director and music director of the Chanticleer Theater’s upcoming production, explains, “The whole show centers around questions that are never answered. We never know for sure how it will go.” Brooks is not optimistic. “I don’t think it’s a happy ending for Bobby.”
“Company” was Stephen Sondheim’s first major collaboration with producer/director Hal Prince. Their association spawned a long string of productions, including “Follies” (1971), “A Little Night Music” (1973), “Pacific Overtures” (1976), “Sweeney Todd” (1979) and “Merrily We Roll Along” (1981). The show broke new ground as a concept musical, composed of short vignettes and presented in no particular chronological order. “Company” was also one of the first musicals to deal with adult themes and relationships. As Sondheim explained, “Broadway theater has been for many years supported by upper-middle-class people with upper-middle-class problems. These people really want to escape that world when they go to the theater, and then here we are with “Company” talking about how we’re going to bring it right back in their faces.”
Brooks believes Bobby’s tragic flaw is that “he’s not willing to give up being single, and I don’t see this as an easy thing for his character to process.” On the other hand, given the chaotic state of his friends’ relationships, committing to a long term relationship does not look like a particularly good option either.
Bobby may flounder, but the musical never does. The show includes some of Sondheim’s most beloved hits, including “Getting Married Today,” “Barcelona,” “Being Alive,” and “The Ladies Who Lunch,” a song introduced in the original production by Elaine Stritch.
“The music is challenging,” says Brooks. “I have a really good group of singers and it’s still a real challenge.” An exceptional cast includes Aaron Mann (Bobby), Angie Heim (Sarah) and Chris Ebke (Harry), Kelly Schlott (Susan), Travis Wilcox (Peter), Sarah Ebke (Jenny), Mark Haufle (David), Tim Daugherty (Larry), Heather Wilhelm (Joanne), Lauren Anderson (Kathy), Lindsey Tierney-Jack (Marta), Brenda Smrdel (April), Brandon Fisher (Paul) and Carrie Beth Stickrod (Amy). A jazzy quartet of two pianos, drums and bass will include both Brooks and Keefer Peterson.
“Company” by the Chanticleer Community Theater will run from May 25th through June 3rd. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. There will be a TAG Nite Out on Thursday, May 24. Doors open thirty minutes before curtain. The Chanticleer Theater is located at 830 Franklin Avenue in Council Bluffs. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and $10 for students, and reservations are available calling (712) 323-9955 in advance of the show. You can also purchase tickets on line at Questions? E-mail the theater at