By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music will premiere the award-winning dark musical comedy “Company” by Stephen Sondheim on Friday, November 3 in the Burg Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder on the OKCU campus. Additional performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, with a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee.
“Company” made its Broadway debut in 1970 and earned a record-setting 14 Tony Award nominations. The show, which centers around the 35th birthday party of Bobby, a jaded New Yorker, won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Lyrics. Classic songs include “Ladies Who Lunch,” “Getting Married Today” and “Side by Side by Side.”
The performance will be the OKCU directorial debut for Brian Cowing.
“At the heart of ‘Company’ is love,” Cowing said. “Love in all forms, the good, the bad and the ugly. Our story takes place from the mind of Bobby, a bachelor who sees love on a surface level. He sees the picture, but doesn’t see what’s behind it. With each memory of his married friends, he examines and questions marriage, commitment and what relationships are all about.
“As an alum, it is a dream come true to return to the Bass School of Music to direct a work like ‘Company.’ These students are absolutely fantastic, taking on roles that are gritty and complex and they do it with honesty and precision,” Cowing said. “It is a true ensemble piece that requires a cast that not only are fantastic singers, but exquisite actors, movers and storytellers.”
Terry Teachout, of the Wall Street Journal wrote of Sondheim’s play, “To see…a small-scale revival is to come away with a much clearer sense of just how serious Sondheim and his collaborators are-and how unnervingly close to the emotional knuckle “Company” continues to cut 46 years after it was first seen on Broadway.”
Oklahoma City University’s 66th season of opera and music theater continues with Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” with performances in Italian on Nov. 17 through 19. English translations will be projected above the Kirkpatrick stage. The Marriage of Figaro Opening Night Dinner will be held on Friday Nov. 17 at 6:15 p.m. at Bass Music Center Atrium preceding the play.
The premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s American opera “The Vaudevillian,” will be presented Feb. 16-18; Bedrich Smetana’s operatic comedy “The Bartered Bride,” will be held March 2-4; and Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town,” is set for April 20-22 as part of the Bernstein centennial celebration.
Also scheduled this month will be a solo recital by the head of OKCU’s piano program, Dr. Sergio Monteiro as he salutes titans of the piano with a selection of works by Francis Poulenc, Domenico Scarlatti, Sergei Prokofiev, Johannes Brahms and Frédéric Chopin as part of the Distinguished Artist Series. The event will take place on Sunday Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. in the Petree Recital Hall.
On December 2, the Distinguished Artist Series will present a lecture by Conductor Gerrard Schwartz in Petree Recital Hall. Performances of “Noises Off,” by the English playwright Michael Frayn, will take place from Dec 7 – 10 in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium.
Tickets for Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” are $12 and can be purchased by calling 405-208-5227 or online. at okcu.edu/tickets.