×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Company

The second production from Kookaburra is a vast improvement on the fledgling Australian musical theater outfit's debut earlier this year with "Pippin." Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 musical, "Company," about the metropolitan angst of marriage and commitment, is infinitely more relevant to contempo auds and features superior production qualities. But any ambitions Kookaburra might have of joining the international cutting edge remain, well, ambitions.

With:
Robert - DavidCampbell Marta - Tamsin Carroll Harry - Simon Burke Susan - Natalie Alexopoulos Kathy - Trisha Crowe David - Rodney Dobson Jenny - Pippa Grandison Paul - Scott Irwin Joanne - Anne Looby Peter - James Millar Amy - Chelsea Plumley Sarah - Katrina Retallick April - Christie Whelan Larry - William Zappa

SYDNEY — The second production from Kookaburra is a vast improvement on the fledgling Australian musical theater outfit’s debut earlier this year with “Pippin.” Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 musical, “Company,” about the metropolitan angst of marriage and commitment, is infinitely more relevant to contempo auds and features superior production qualities. But any ambitions Kookaburra might have of joining the international cutting edge remain, well, ambitions.

Gale Edwards’ production provides a strong showcase for the casts’ superior vocal talents and sound quality in Sydney’s Theater Royal is exceptionally good. But much more could have been done with choreography, costumesand staging.

This production sounds like a top-notch company, give or take the occasional breakthrough Aussie accent, but it looks dated and unimaginative. The slight contemporizing of the script, such as a mention of Prozac, doesn’t go far enough.

Popular on Variety

What a wasted opportunity to re-imagine the 1970 tuner, which was given a Tony-winning Broadway revival last season but has not been staged professionally in Sydney for 20 years. Sondheim jetted Down Under for opening night July 5.

John O’Connell’s limited choreography is not helped by lead David Campbell’s creaky moves. Nor do Brian Thomson’s uninspired sets add much luster, depicting a New York skyline silhouetted in fairy lights and the same thing in daylight pastels, with black and white floor tiles mirroring the black and white wardrobe — all overhung by a neon ribbon tied in a bow.

Ensemble’s repeated re-grouping along left-to-right, rear-to-front lines for the birthday scenes feels claustrophobic.

Performers, however, are strong. Campbell could work harder but his talent is immense, Katrina Retallick again proves herself one to watch and Tamsin Carroll is a scene-stealer despite limited stage time. Same goes for Anne Looby in the “Ladies Who Lunch” Joanne role and Chelsea Plumley as jittery bride Amy.

But for a company that aims to take risks, Kookaburra’s “Company” hasn’t.

Company

Theater Royal; 1,100 Seats; $A75 ($64) Top)

Production: A Kookaburra presentation of a musical in two acts with book by George Furth, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Directed by Gale Edwards. Musical director, Peter Casey. Choreography, John O'Connell. Sets, Brian Thomson; costumes, Julie Lynch; lighting, Damien Cooper; sound, Michael Waters; production stage manager, Dawn Martin. Opened, reviewed July 5, 2007. Running time: 2 HOURS, 30 MIN.

Cast: Robert - DavidCampbell Marta - Tamsin Carroll Harry - Simon Burke Susan - Natalie Alexopoulos Kathy - Trisha Crowe David - Rodney Dobson Jenny - Pippa Grandison Paul - Scott Irwin Joanne - Anne Looby Peter - James Millar Amy - Chelsea Plumley Sarah - Katrina Retallick April - Christie Whelan Larry - William Zappa

More Legit

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Claire Warden

    Listen: Let's Talk About Sex Onstage

    The craft of intimacy direction is taking Broadway by storm — and on the latest episode of Variety’s Stagecraft, Broadway’s first intimacy director explains why, and breaks down the ways in which she’s helping to revolutionize how actors get intimate onstage. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Warden, whose credits this season include “Jagged Little [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    Mark Addy, Dan Stevens Head Broadway Cast of 'Hangmen'

    Mark Addy and Dan Stevens will appear in the Broadway premiere of Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen.” Addy, best known for his work on “Game of Thrones” and “The Full Monty,” starred in the off-Broadway production of the black comedy. It’s the first time Stevens, beloved for his turn on “Downton Abbey,” has appeared on the Great [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen Jordan Fisher

    Jordan Fisher Joins 'Dear Evan Hansen' in Title Role on Broadway

    Jordan Fisher will be Broadway’s next Evan Hansen, joining the cast of “Dear Evan Hansen” in the musical’s title role. Fisher, best known to theater enthusiasts for his stint in “Hamilton” and playing Mark Cohen in Fox’s “Rent: Live,” will play the role for a limited 16-week engagement starting Jan. 28. “Evan Hansen is a [...]

  • SUBJECTS] seen at the Lincoln Center

    Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall Set for Major Renovation

    Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall is set to undergo a major renovation that will lead to the facility being closed for months-long stretches starting in 2022. Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic announced Monday that the overhaul will require the temporary shuttering of Geffen Hall from May 2022 through October 2022 and again from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content