“Company” Bursts with Talent

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.

"Company"

“Company”

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.

"Company"

“Company”

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.

Winds section from "Company"

Winds section of orchestra in “Company”

“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

Rating: A

Advertisements

Posted on July 13, 2012, in Music, Theater and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Diana Saunders

    Andrea, just to add a comment here, the actors wear black because it is “Company”…in concert. This has been done this way since they started presenting this show in a concert version in New York The sets are minimal to emphasize that fact, but, actually, the true concert version is without sets. I think this version was trying to add some “color” to each character! It’s not the true show, as the true show is in “color”.If you YouTube “Company” the concert version, I’m sure you will see the same thing…all in black in front of a black background with the orchestra in black!

    • Hi, Diana!
      You are correct!
      Please note I was not saying it was ‘wrong’ to wear black, I merely noted the effect it had on the visibility of the bodies and movement.
      Thank you for your comment!

      • Diana Saunders

        Well, Andrea, I guess the old adage here holds true…”If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it”!! I understand what you said, but it never bothered me, especially when you have actors as good as these were, totally in the moment! I guess I never saw the black! Personally, this show was good enough to play a theater here on a permanent basis! Glad we are on the same page!!! And…you are very welcome! You are a breath of fresh air!

      • To Live and Dance in LV

        I’m a Broadway musical aficionado, and I agree that black costumes on a black set mitigate the visual impact of the actors. All productions have a visual component, and draping the performers in black causes the audience to lose that. We then have difficulty seeing the performers and miss out on all of their hard work and creative movement. I think that it would be acceptable to make different wardrobe choices than those used in the original “Company” concert – nothing should be set in stone in the creative world of theatre. In a visual-centric Las Vegas, a show would have more impact (and a better chance for a long run) if it had visually-memorable costumes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s