Thursday, April 13, 2006


Deb and I journeyed up Mt. Adams last night to take in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of "Company". I'm not necessarily a big musical fan - I prefer to keep my theater experiences segmented into plays and concerts. But the word on the street about this production had me intrigued. The actors performed quadruple duty. In addition to the normal singing/dancing/acting roles, all instrumental accompaniment was provided by the cast members. I had to see what this group of overachievers was capable of doing.

And the show did not disappoint. While none of the instumental performances were in the "virtuoso" category, the "orchestra" sound was solid and well balanced. Each cast member except for the lead male role had a rotating stool at the back of the stage upon which they perched when not involved in an acting/singing role in a particular scene. And most of the (12+) cast members were multi-instrumentalists. The choreography of the show included using the instruments as props and foundational elements. If there was anything negative about the show, it was that my fascination with the instrument integration (what will they play next) probably distracted me from paying attention to the finer details of the story. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Director John Doyle had already used this approach with "Sweeny Todd", another Sondheim musical (and one of my favorites in the musical genre). I was intrigued to read the story of how this approach was taken as much due to economic necessity as to artistic expression. (He first used this approach in economically depressed Liverpool, England). It has obviously caught on, as the current production is Broadway bound in the fall.

It's been a busy week - Company, improv rehearsals (yes, they do rehearse...), taxes. I hope to have some more thought provoking posts over the weekend. I have a few religion topics mulling around in my head.

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