You’ve never seen Company like this before! Composer Stephen Sondheim and Tony winning director John Tiffany are collaborating on a revised production of Sondheim’s beloved 1970 musical, which reimagines Bobby as a gay man with commitment issues and a revolving door of boyfriends, The New York Times reports. The Roundabout Theatre Company is holding a reading of the revised musical on October 18, starring Tony nominee Daniel Evans as Bobby and Tony winner Alan Cumming putting a gender-bending spin on the character of Joanne, as well as Big Fish star Bobby Steggert and Buyer & Cellar’s Michael Urie. No additional dates or casting have been announced.
Although previously Sondheim and original book writer George Furth have stated explicitly that Bobby is not gay, the composer changed his tune when Tiffany approached him with the new idea. “It’s still a musical about commitment, but marriage is seen as something very different in 2013 than it was in 1970,” Sondheim told The New York Times. “We don’t deal with gay marriage as such, but this version lets us explore the issues of commitment in a fresh way.” Hey, as long as we can hear Alan Cumming belt “Ladies Who Lunch,” we’re happy!
Company originally opened on Broadway in 1970, starring Dean Jones as Bobby and Elaine Stritch as Joanne. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It has been revived twice on Broadway: In 1995 (produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company) and 2006.
An eight-time Tony winner, Sondheim is the composer and lyricist of Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, The Frogs, A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Anyone Can Whistle and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide.
Tiffany is the director of the acclaimed revival of The Glass Menagerie and the Tony-winning musical Once, both currently on Broadway. He co-directed Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth alongside Andrew Goldberg.