March 22 marks the 90th birthday of the greatest American musical theatre composer of the modern era, Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Sondheim. To mark this occasion, Monmouth University and Shadow Lawn Stage will join forces to present a series of Sondheim’s most beloved works. This marks the first time that all three of the year’s musicals, professional and academic, will be dedicated to one composer. The three events included in this series are Company (November 15-24), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (April 16-20) and Shadow Lawn Stage’s professional Equity theatre production of Putting it Together (July 16-19, 23-26).
Sondheim’s game-changing musical, Company is a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships. Largely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Lyrics and Best Book, Company’s plot revolves around Robert (a single man unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let alone marriage), the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends. On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor, Robert, contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends – “those good and crazy people [his] married friends” – explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. The habitually single Robert is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.
Company features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Stephen Sondheim’s best known songs. Director Sheri Anderson places the action in a New York night club, stripping down the orchestrations to a small jazz ensemble. Featuring new jazz orchestrations by Musical Director Mike Gilch, you’ve never heard Company like this before.
Tickets for Company range from $10-20 and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/MCA. Tickets for the other upcoming shows in this series — including MU Player’s student-produced musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (April 16-20) and Shadow Lawn Stage’s professional Equity theatre production of Putting it Together (July 16-19, 23-26) at the Woods Theatre— are also available now. Special discounts are available for buying tickets to all three productions. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.