Coronado Playhouse Presents the musical COMPANY as part of their 78th Season

A High Energy Production Filled with Laughs and Solid Introspection

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardasht

The cast of Company. Photo Ken Jacques

This was my first time at Coronado Playhouse and I would consider it a good one. I believe I have mentioned this in other reviews but I am not that big of a Stephen Sondheim fan (shhh do not repeat it). I don't know... West Side Story really left a mark and I continue to question why it keeps getting produced. Anyway, that is a topic for another post and hopefully an episode of my podcast on hiatus...

Company follows Robert (Nathan Wetter) on the evening of his 35th birthday surrounded by friends and a surprise party. Bobby is single and practically all of his friends are not. As he is about to blow out the candles, he is prompted to make a wish and as he blows, not all the candles go out. Man is that a "bad" omen... the musical mayhem starts as Robert reflects on his bachelor life, his friends' marriages, marriage itself, -which apparently is not that great according to this musical lol- and friends wanting to get into his pants.

Even though Coronado Playhouse considers itself a community theater, this production of Company was very charming. Jacob Sampson creatively resolved the set design with moving square platforms that serve as walls but also frame the stage and add depth to the scenes. Lighting is always an essential element in production but sometimes it is key to telling the story or giving it that added feeling and this was the case with Megan Mahoney's design that prompted the song and scene transitions nicely. 
Nathan Wetter and Dacara Seward. Photo Ken Jacques

The cast did good ensemble work under Blake McCarty's directorial wing and it is always good to see up-and-coming talent across the different stages. Composed of Hannah Bosworth (April), Dylan Landau (Kathy), Dacara Seward (Marta), Lu Garcia (Harry), Sydney Wilkins (Sarah), Kevin Phan (Peter), Noelle Caliguri (Susan), Richard Dueñez Morrison (David), Cindy St. Clair (Jenny), Jeffrey Mark Pierce (Paul), Brittany Adriana Carrillo (Amy), Paul Morgavo (Larry) and Desha Crownover (Joanne) performing catchy, pop-ie songs like "Company", "Someone is Waiting", "Marry Me A Little", "Barcelona"- my personal favorite, and "Being Alive" with a live band that had Fred Biven on trombone, Jason Ford with the trumpet, Clare Hatter in violin, Nathaniel Jorge with the wind instruments like piccolo, flute, clarinet, and sax, Edward LaBarbera on bass and Michael Masessa on percussion, all led by Michael Tyree. 

Nathan Wetter does a fantastic job in the lead role of the birthday boy, bachelor extraordinaire Robert, as well as Dacara Seward and Cindy St. Clair who have magnificent voices and harmonize beautifully. It was great to see Kevin Phan onstage again, I had seen him last at Oceanside in another Sondheim piece, Into the Woods and he did not disappoint as Robert's best friend/secret crush Peter.  All the comedic points were hit in this production like a playful martial arts demo by Sydney Wilkins and Lu Garcia while showing off Erin Petersen's fight choreo skills as well. There is a frisky bed scene to the sound of "Barcelona" where Wetter and Hannah Bosworth semi-strip, taking the pace and rhythm right making it a sweet and also comical sequence. Props to Kandace Crystal's intimacy direction that reflected involvement and care.

Nathan Wetter and Hannah Bosworth.  Photo Ken Jacques 
I applaud smaller companies' efforts to produce bigger pieces with large casts like a Sondheim musical that we do not get to see often unless we travel to LA or New York. This was my first time seeing Company too and I enjoyed it. The cabaret-type seating of the venue was definitely not my hit because it is all on the same level so you see more of the back of the head of the person sitting in front of you than the musical itself but, the experience was still an enjoyable one. 

The production has been extended for one more week with performances until Sunday, April 2. If you have the opportunity, go support. For more information please click here. 

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