“Company” Stephen Sondheim
Basen Artystyczny Stage
Libretto | George Furth
Translation | Maciej Glaza
Premiere | 26 March 2022 r.
Duration: 150 minutes, 1 entr’acte
Staging and director: Michał Znaniecki
Music director: Tomasz Szymuś
Set designer: Luigi Scoglio
Costume designer: Ewa Minge
Choreographer: Inga Pilchowska
Lighting director: Dawid Karolak
Multimedia: Karolina Jacewicz
Assistant director: Rafał Supiński
Assistant director WCO: Jolanta Denejko
Assistant choreographer: Joanna Kierzkowska
Assistant set designer: Elwira Szyszka
Assistant set designer WCO: Urszula Bartos-Gęsikowska
Assistant costume designer WCO: Stefania Jabłońska
Fashion consultant: Marta Ręczajska-Kalinowska
Characters styling: Adrianna Chocholska
Scenery construction: PROPS
Production manager: Robert Kęsik
ROBERT/BOBBY: Janusz Kruciński / Miłosz Gałaj
SARA: Marta Burdynowicz / Ewa Puchalska
HARRY: Maciej Miecznikowski / Rafał Supiński
SUSAN: Anna Sroka-Hryń / Dorota Solecka
PETER: Przemysław Glapiński / Łukasz Górczyński
JENNY: Bogumiła Dziel-Wawrowska / Sylwia Stępień
DAVID: Wojciech Stolorz / Łukasz Geryń
AMY: Anastazja Simińska / Monika Łopuszyńska
PAUL: Andrzej Skorupa / Jakub Pawlik
JOANNE: Alicja Węgorzewska / Ewelina Rzezińska
LARRY: Zbigniew Konopka / Marek Sadowski
MARTHA: Iga Caban / Magdalena Pikuła
KATHY: Paulina Janczak / Aleksandra Biskot
APRIL: Aleksandra Borkiewicz / Karolina Trojanowska
ANIOŁ/ANGEL: Paulina Łysikowska
Vocal Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Chorus Master – Krzysztof Kusiel-Moroz
Ewelina Kruk, Dominika Lewandowska, Joanna Lichorowicz-Greś, Wiktoria Ratyńska, Paulina Wojtkowska, Marta Żabka
Mariusz Mielczarek – saxophone, Paweł Gusnar – saxophone, Konrad Gzik – saxophone, Łukasz Dzikowski – oboe, Kuba Waszczeniuk – trumpet, Andrzej Rękas – trombone,
Sebastian Frankiewicz – percussion, Jan Zeyland – keyboard, Marcin Trojanowicz – keyboard, Patryk Stachura – bass, Jakub Grott – violin, Jacek Wachnik – violin,
Paweł Czarny – viola, Karol Wachnik – cello
Company – a musical, that wonderfully stands the test of time
“Company” is an iconic American musical, based on a libretto by George Furth, which, compared to the entire enormous oeuvre of Stephen Sondheim, is so special that both the music and the text are written by the author of the work.
Moreover, it is a musical considered to be one of the first socially engaged, it hasn’t lost any relevance for half a century since its premiere in 1970. It is worth knowing that back then, the show received 14 nominations for the most important Broadway Tony Award, ultimately winning 6 statuettes.
Jonathan Mandell, one of the most influential critics of Broadway, considered “Company” a work filled with the best lyrics, and when reviewing the December revival in New York (2021, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, fourth New York revival in musical history), he was tempted to say: It contains more than a dozen songs with among the cleverest lyrics in the history of musical theatre. The score is exquisite.
The “Company’s” story revolves around Robert, a handsome and popular single man, five married couples who are his best friends, and three of his girlfriends.
While the classic musical is built on the basis of a homogenous plot, and we witness a linear development of the action, in here we get independent threads closely related to the individual marriages or main character’s partners, and all of them are linked to the celebration of Robert’s next birthday. As Sondheim put it: “They are middle-class people with middle-class problems”.
Charles Isherwood of “Broadway News” goes further in his interpretation:
Broadly speaking, “Company” is a musical meditation on emotional ambivalence, the sense that “the road you didn’t take,” to quote a Sondheim lyric from another show, might have been preferable to the one you are on. Virtually all of the married characters raise questions about decisions they made — specifically the choice to commit their lives to their spouses — and for most of them, the answers to those questions will always remain elusive or ambiguous.
Company is a musical about the relationships or the lack of relationships. They may be messy and misunderstood, but they are better than the lonely alternative, that is facing Bobby on his 35th birthday. (Michael Kuchwara, “Associated Press”).
Whenever a musical returns to theatre’s repertoire, whether in the United States or in London’s West End, it is astonishing with its topicality and the everlasting nature of human dilemmas.
What was formally shocking in 1970, since the musical defied the convention by being a series of seemingly independent one-act plays sewn together, is today its trademark. The main character weighs the advantages and disadvantages of his inner circle’s relationships, gradually coming to the conclusion that there are more reasons to open up to love and commitment than to remain alone. So does optimism ultimately win? With this question, the viewer remains alone.
“Company” travels the stages of the world, winning the hearts of music afficionados from Singapore, Norway, the Philippines to Brazil. Now it will be presented to the Polish audience, directed by Michał Znaniecki, set design by Luigi Scoglio and under the musical direction of Tomasz Szymuś.