Find Us

Company Brings Broadway Alums to the Kennedy Center with Sondheim’s Thrilling Musical

Company Brings Broadway Alums to the Kennedy Center with Sondheim’s Thrilling Musical

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
March 17, 2024
Special to The Zebra

The North American Tour of COMPANY (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

For those familiar with Stephen Sondheim’s original 1970 version of Company, you’ll be mighty surprised to see all the changes in this production. The original won six Tony Awards. This revised version opened on Broadway in 2022, rewritten by Sondheim and Director Marianne Elliott, and won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. So, there’s that. Both versions stand on their own, but I’ll mention some of the changes, so you won’t feel lost at sea. Robert is now Bobbie and is female (the stunning Britney Coleman in full bloom and gorgeous voice). Adding to that switcheroo there’s is a gay male couple, social media is prevalent (everyone texts and checks their Facebook constantly) and pot is legal – well yes, it is – and there’s a very funny scene where Bobbie and friends get high on their front stoop.

It confused the heck out of me, but those I’ve spoken to who hadn’t seen the original and enjoyed the show for what it is now. So, let’s look at it that way, because it certainly stands on its own merits as a story of married couples, couples with children, the gay couple about to wed, and Bobbie turning 35 with an active dating life but no real prospects for marriage. And therein lies the crux of the matter. The pressure is on for her to marry.

David Socolar as Theo and Britney Coleman as Bobbie (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

It’s the universal, get-married-before-it’s-too-late clock ticking madly away. Find a guy, have kids and get on with life, say all her friends. What the plot reveals is no matter how urgently friends try to convince Bobbie the years are passing her by, she sees their relationships, flaws and all, and that’s exactly what’s so hilarious about it.

Set in New York City with all its distractions, hookups, and dating apps Bobbie must navigate, it paints a picture of the struggles of a career woman to find love in a fast-paced world. I loved the rewrite – the gender swaps along with the new character development. It’s perfectly relevant. Surely Sondheim realized the old version couldn’t be revived without these changes to attract new audiences.

Matt Rodin as Jamie and Ali Louis Bourzgui as Paul (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

It’s witty, quite sophisticated – Joanne (played by the sleekly sexy Judy McLane), as the Lauren Bacall type blonde, hasn’t changed a bit – and uproarious. With a crack cast of Broadway alums who sing their bums off, this is the musical everyone has been raving about.

The songs that never went away like “Someone is Waiting”, “You Could Drive a Person Crazy”, Side by Side by Side”, “The Ladies Who Lunch” (which reminded me of the terrific new mini-series about Truman Capote and his “Swans”) and, of course, the anthem “Being Alive”, are all here in their original glory. You’ll have your favorites, but these are mine and they’re unforgettable.

Highly recommended!

Britney Coleman as Bobbie (center) and the North American Tour of COMPANY (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

With Judy McLane as Joanne; Kathryn Allison as Sarah; Jed Resnick as David; Jhardon DiShon Milton as Paul; Derrick Davis as Larry; Javier Ignacio as Peter; James Earl Jones II as Harry; Marina Kondo as Susan/Priest; Matt Rodin as Jamie; Emma Stratton as Jenny; Jacob Dickey as Andy; Tyler Hardwick as PJ; David Socolar as Theo.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by George Furth; Scenic and Costume Design by Bunny Christie; Lighting Design by Neil Austin; Original Sound Design; Ian Dickinson for Autograph; Orchestration by David Cullen; Choreography by Liam Steel; with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and Company Orchestra.

Through March 31st at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566. For tickets and information call the box office at 202 467-4600 or visit

Comments are closed.