Dream Academy/Dream World Productions’ latest offering is a Stephen Sondheim musical Company, which is playing at the Drama Centre, from 1st to 17th of November 2012.
Directed by Hossan Leong, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by George Furth, Company is about 35 year old Bobby (Peter Ong) who’s pretty much a womanizing commitment-phobe. Through his interaction with three girlfriends, April (Seong Hui Xuan), Marta (Mina Ellen Kaye) and Kathy (Glory Ngim) along with five other couple friends who undergo relationship ups and downs themselves, Bobby has to decide if being a long term bachelor is what he really wants.
Company is funny, but don’t expect obvious jokes. The humour here is subtle and sophisticated, and much of the wit is found in the lyrics of the songs that so suitably capture the essence of marriage, relationships, and life. Also, don’t expect saccharine sweet endings to the relationships explored in this musical, for Company lays it all out honestly - the good, the bad, and the ugly about being married.
As for the singing, one word comes to mind to describe the singing here - astonishing! The singing from the entire cast is nothing short of remarkable. Many of the performers are fresh to the industry but have already made a mark in musical theatre. One such actress is Candice de Rozario who blew audiences away in Spring Awakening and Lao Jiu with her powerful vocals. Here, in Company, de Rozario’s crystal clear voice lends itself effortlessly to an operatic song, which she sings in perfect pitch.
Also new to the Singapore scene, Mina Ellen Kaye gives a powerful performance with her rendition of “Another Hundred People”. Kaye‘s big voice suits this song with wordy lyrics very well, as her diction and enunciation stay clear throughout the entire song.