Songs of Sondheim resonate throughout the region

Regional Theatre of the Palouse presents musical comedy ‘Company’

The+cast+of+Company+is+comprised+of+both+regional+and+national+performers%2C+including+WSU+students.+

COURTESY OF ERIC LOZAGA

The cast of “Company” is comprised of both regional and national performers, including WSU students.

GABRIELLE FELICIANO, Evergreen reporter

Last Thursday, the Regional Theatre of the Palouse welcomed all sorts of company for the opening night of their latest production.

The RTOP will be performing “Company” for the rest of February, with showings on Feb. 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26-27 at 1:30 p.m. Originally composed and lyricized by Stephen Sondheim, the RTOP’s rendition of the famous comedy musical features both local and national talent in its cast and crew.

Michael Todd, associate director of RTOP, said their production of Sondheim’s original work is a tribute to him. Todd is a lighting designer for “Company,” in addition to playing the character Harry. 

“We thought of a show to give tribute,” Todd said. “An ode to musical theater giants, composers and lyricists.”

On Nov. 21, 2021, Sondheim passed away.  As one of the most significant figures in musical theater, Sondheim was known for writing the lyrics to his own compositions. Composing and lyricizing are typically done by different people, but Sondheim was famous for doing both by himself.

“It’s meaningful to come back to theater after Sondheim passed away,” Dominick Ventrella, an actor for “Company,” said. “Everyone worked to create the best product they possibly could.”

“Company” follows the story of Robert, a bachelor who begins to contemplate getting married after his 35th birthday. Throughout the course of the musical, Robert is forced to confront his views on love and relationships via his interactions with his friends, all of whom are married themselves.

“It’s a concept musical,” Ventrella said. “I want people to come and think about relationships; this show mirrors what it’s like to be in one.”

In the past, Todd said the RTOP has produced other musicals that were composed and lyricized by Sondheim, such as “Into the Woods” in April 2011 and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” in November 2015.

“We’re always trying to bring fresh and new titles to the Palouse,” Todd said. “‘Company’ is a Sondheim show we haven’t done yet.”

Tickets for “Company” are available online on the RTOP’s official website and in-person at the door, costing $20 for children and $25 for adults. Showgoers are required to wear masks and present vaccination cards to staff. 

For any questions, the RTOP can be contacted at (509) 334-0750 or at [email protected].

“The audience is in for a treat,” Todd said. “‘Company’ is a hilarious musical comedy. It was a joy to bring life to.”