Emily Chassman ’16
On Friday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m. many gathered to fill the few seats that occupied Austin Arts Center’s Garmany Hall for the opening night of Company. No stranger to the Trinity community, Company has been produce by the Theater Department a record breaking five times. The musical combines humor and song with many hard-hitting questions about life and aging, leaving the audience to contemplate their own life situations even after the curtain drops.
Director Gerald Moshell, music professor at Trinity since 1977, attempts to add new life and excitement into Company, a classic musical tale that was instrumental in revolutionizing and influencing musicals such as A Chorus Line, Nine, and Spring Awakening. Moshell is bold in his choice of stage direction, as the small audience becomes very much apart of the setting, tone, and feel of the musical comedy. For many years Trinity was the most consistent producer of all of Stephen Sondheim’s shows, both famous and not famous. As a matter of fact, in 1995 Trinity became the first collegiate group to be featured on the cover of The Sondheim Review.
The cast of Company was made up of a mix of students from different class years, although the amount of underclassmen far outweighed that of upperclassmen, which might have been slightly mirrored in the musical’s finished product. Despite a few missteps, the enthusiasm and passion of the entire cast was not lost on the audience. Henry Romeyn, a sophomore who played Robert, the lead character, was passionate and adoring in his portrayal of a 35-year-old man confused by love and what he wants in life. Through a combined use of dialogue and song, Robert’s struggles are portrayed through his many encounters with women, (specifically April played by Meredith Murno ‘15, Marta, played by Marisa Tornello ’15, and Kathy played by Jamie Ballen ‘16) and his closest friends, who are all paired off in five couples. Although fun and humorous on the surface, the dialogue, lyrics, and overall plot of the story delves into the heavy issues of marriage, equality, the presence of drugs and alcohol, and the influence and role of society and culture in one’s everyday life. Company took its audience on a tasking and emotional journey and left them with much to contemplate about their own lives.
A good attempt by Trinity Theater Department to combine what everyone loves most about a comedy and a musical, Company holds it own in making a leap from a purely lighthearted comedy to a musical comedy that comments on some of the complexities of life.