Company Cast

The Cast of Company on the Transformative Revival

Over the past decade, director Marianne Elliott has scored a string of critical and commercial triumphs bringing both highly original works—the Tony Award-winning plays War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time—and a Tony-winning revival of Angels in America. Her latest project is another classic, the Stephen Sondheim–George Furth musical Company, which Elliott has, with Sondheim’s blessing, envisioned anew for a staging The New York Times declared “gloriously transformative.”

Set to begin previews March 2 and open March 22 — Sondheim’s 90th birthday — at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, this Company focuses on a bachelorette, Bobbie, as she turns 35, rather than a single man in that position, and the married couples surrounding her, about whom several key details have also changed. Broadway legend Patti LuPone, who won an Olivier Award playing the acerbic Joanne, will be joined by a new ensemble of theater stars, led by Tony winner Katrina Lenk as Bobbie.

Says Elliott, “I can’t wait to start working with this extraordinary ensemble. They are a remarkable collection of Broadway-beloved, not to mention wonderful singers, movers, comedians, and brilliant actors.”

The players include longtime friends Christopher Sieber, fresh from his celebrated performance in The Prom, and Jennifer Simard, recently acclaimed in Mean Girls and 2017’s revival of Hello, Dolly!. They’re cast here as Harry and Sarah, who gets to play Lucy to her husband’s Charlie Brown during the song “The Little Things You Do Together.”

Of the new staging, Simard says, “I don’t think art is something you put on a shelf, and I’m so inspired by Mr. Sondheim, that he’s been so excited to dive in and reimagine his work years later.”

Simard was similarly impressed by Elliott when they met. “War Horse was one of the best things I’ve ever seen, and I was truly excited by the environment she created in that audition room—how she responded to playing and creativity,” she says. Sieber, who once played Bobby in a Los Angeles production of Company, agrees: “She has this way of reducing the stress and anxiety of auditioning. She makes it the most comfortable room you can be in, so that you’re so relaxed.”

Matt Doyle, who plays Jamie in the production, worked with Elliott on War Horse and cites her “intellect, her demand to be honest, and her playfulness.” In this Company, though Jamie’s gender and sexual orientation have been reversed, his neurotic leanings and anxiety about marriage have remained intact.

“In this strange time of tribalism, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to play the character as a gay man, so that people can realize we have more in common than our differences from each other,” Doyle says. “As an anxiety-ridden gay teenager, I would have thought you were crazy if you told me I’d be able to use all that nervous energy in a musical on Broadway.”

Etai Benson, who appeared with Lenk in The Band’s Visit, is playing Paul. “The text has hardly been altered. Sondheim and Furth captured such universal truths about fear and love and anxiety in their original script. But making Paul and Jamie a gay couple opens up rich new layers to uncover — it allows for a perspective on marriage the show has never had before,” he says. “What I find most moving is that when Company was written, Paul and Jamie could not have been portrayed on stage. The concept of gay marriage was outside the realm of reality. But today, 50 years later, it is real and legal and part of the fabric of our society. I’m so honored to celebrate that by telling Paul and Jamie’s story eight times a week.”

Kyle Dean Massey, who plays Theo, adds Company to his Broadway credits, which include The Boys in the Band and Next to Normal.Company has been a show that I’ve known well for as long as I’ve loved musicals,” he says. “And like all movies, plays, and musicals that you know well, I’ve had this idea of how each moment is supposed to land. How each character is essentially supposed to be. I’ve been forced to completely reconsider every scene and song within this revival. The construct of this show forces each actor and audience member to rediscover the show in a new and modern way. What I can say is that my role of Theo speaks more honestly to me than just about any role I’ve ever played.”

Greg Hildreth, who performed Company in college, is “thrilled to be doing a female-centric adaption of this show. Among the many changes, my character, Peter, and his wife, Susan, have swapped their line assignments. I’m looking forward to discovering what the many conceit changes reveal.”

Nikki Renée Daniels, another young Broadway veteran, works with another twist as Jenny, who in Elliott’s iteration is the primary earner in her marriage to David, a stay-at-home dad played by three-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald. “My husband is also an actor, so sometimes he’s the breadwinner and sometimes I am,” notes Daniels, who is also understudying the part of Bobbie. (Fitzgerald, who is “super excited to jump into the deep end with Marianne Elliott,” says, “To revisit a classic through a different lens is always intriguing.”)

For the actress, who sang backup in a summer stock staging of the musical while in college, the new Company’s central role reversal also makes the show freshly relevant. “In our day and age, a single 35-year-old man is nothing to write home about,” Daniels says. “But for women, it’s that age of, ‘Well, are you going to have kids?’ I’m around the age of the characters in the show, and I have a lot of friends who are still out there looking — and some who aren’t. I’m very happily married, thankfully, but I have daughters who are 2 and 6, and I wonder if, when they grow up, marriage will still be such a big thing.”

A Bronx Tale alumnus Bobby Conte Thornton plays P.J., who, like Lenk’s Bobbie and Claybourne Elder’s Andy, has also undergone a gender twist. “The unexpected is what excited me. … [Company] is what made me want to be an actor,” he says. “It was the first musical on Broadway to be nonlinear. It’s inherently unexpected in its storytelling. … So making big, bold choices with these brilliant creative minds, and having the space to fail and fail and fail as a means of stumbling onto the right idea, excites me to no end.”

“This show is exciting to me not just because Bobbie as a woman brings such rich new meaning to the story, but also because I get to play a role that they would never write for a man: funny, heartfelt, maybe a little dim and in love with a woman who doesn’t love him back,” adds Elder.

Terence Archie, seen earlier this year in the much-praised revival of Kiss Me, Kate and cast here as Larry, notes, “The world has changed quite a bit in 50 years,” offering more vehicles for connection. “Books, blogs, TV. Film, music, politics, social networks have provided great outlets for us to mentor one another towards what we all want: To love and be loved in a deeply considerate way without losing ourselves.”

As the sole import from Elliott’s London production in this now all-American staging, LuPone, who will reprise her Joanne opposite Terence Archie as husband Larry, is also eager to bring Company home. “The production is so inventive and funny,” says the two-time Tony Award–winning performer. “I’m actually excited to be on stage and watch an American audience respond to this quintessentially New York musical with Marianne’s spin on it.”

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