July 10, 2012, LVH Showroom (formerly Las Vegas Hilton)
A dream team of Las Vegas singers and musicians celebrated the sounds of Sondheim on one of the most venerable stages in town.
The one-time home of legends Elvis and Barry Manilow played host to this two-night revival of the 1970s Broadway hit “Company”, a wrenching examination of marriage and relationships.
Dozens of local Las Vegas singer-actors and musicians banded together to resurrect this deeply-emotional musical. The cast was a who’s-who of current and former lead singers from 30 years of Las Vegas theater and production shows.
The singers shone at every moment– belting and cooing, vocally cavorting (and sometimes, physically cavorting) to bring to life each different character.
The singers also acted their socks off, committing to their characters so completely that the audience physically experienced the anguish and longing they were expressing.
The lighting was beautiful and dramatic.
The orchestra was breathtaking. A 22-piece orchestra played the score live — what a treat! Bassoon, oboe, tympani, and xylophone graced center stage along with a 10-piece string section. Bill Fayne, musical director and conductor, guided the tuxedoed musicians with expertise, subtlety and passion. Quite a thrill for anyone who studied music or previously experienced a Broadway-caliber orchestra, and a fabulous introduction for anyone who had not.
“Side By Side By Side” was a standout number because of the energy, humor and playfulness amongst the singers. The choreography was effective, supported the message of the song, was well-rehearsed and sharply-performed by the singers, adding a delightful visual element.
Unfortunately, some slow scene transitions and pauses in dialogue hindered the pace of the show.
The singers’ black attire, in front of the black background on the LVH stage, had the regrettable effect of disappearing their bodies and movements. There was good use of the levels of the stage platform by the cast to differentiate scenes, yet the platform was far away from the audience and the cast would have been more visible had they worn brighter-colored clothing.
Transitions and wardrobe would almost certainly be worked out in a longer run of the show; it is incredible difficult to tweak these things to perfection in only two shows.
Despite these challenges, this production presented a Broadway show that was bursting with talent and fantastic performances from the entire cast, and demonstrated, once again, that the theatrical and music community in Las Vegas has both the depth and passion required to present nationally-known shows at an impressive level.
Audience: age 8 and up