Elkhart Civic Theatre presents ‘Company’ at the Bristol Opera House

For the first time in 34 years, "Company" will hit the stage at the Bristol Opera House.

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 5:21 p.m.

BRISTOL — Nothing is given so freely as advice.

At least that’s what Bobby the bachelor learns the hard way in Elkhart Civic Theatre’s upcoming production of the musical comedy “Company.” In the play, the 35-year-old single New Yorker’s life is turned inside out and upside down by a group of well-meaning married friends.

“Company” opens at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, and runs every Friday and Saturday through March 22 with a matinee performance at 3 p.m. March 16 at the Bristol Opera House, 210 E. Vistula St. The show is directed by Stephanie Salisbury with assistant director Steve Salisbury and features choreography by Jerry O’Boyle.

  • When: Opening night is 8 p.m. Friday, March 7. The play continues at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through March 22 with a matinee at 3 p.m. March 16.
  • Where: Bristol Opera House, 210 E. Vistula St.
  • Tickets: $17 for adults and $15 for students and seniors 62 and older. Call (574) 848-4116 or visit elkhartcivictheatre.org.

“It’s got music by Stephen Sondheim, which is unparalleled as far as I’m concerned,” O’Boyle said. “It’s just a fantastic score and a very funny story by George Furth, who is known as a comic actor. It’s been called a landmark musical because it broke the mold for how musical theater was done. It was the first major musical that did not follow the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition where every song told part of the story and there was a straight timeline from beginning to end.”

Several newcomers to Elkhart Civic Theatre join a veteran cast in the production of “Company.” Playing Bobby, the most available bachelor in New York City, is Jacob Medich.

Bobby’s crazy group of friends is played by Susan South, John Shoup, Kristen Riggs, Joe Beauregard, Stephanie Yoder, Patrick Farran, Brock Butler, Natalie MacRae, Sean Leyes and Stephanie Honderich.

The girlfriends in Bobby’s life are portrayed by Rachel Raska, Mandie Mickelson and Sarah Rogers.

Heidi Ferris accompanies the show with Steve Salisbury on percussion and Mike Boles on bass.

“It has been 34 years since we last presented this outstanding musical, and its return to the stage at the Bristol Opera House is long overdue,” said Elkhart Civic Theatre executive director Dave Dufour, who appeared in the theater’s first production of “Company.” “It speaks to today’s generation maybe more than when originally produced.”

The choreography featured in “Company” is as energetic as it is eclectic and entertaining, O’Boyle said. The upcoming production marks his first work in community theater since a national tour of “Hairspray” where he starred as Tracy Turnblad’s mother, Edna Turnblad. O’Boyle said touring nationally with a big production is quite different from the spotlight in community theater, but one thing remains the same no matter how large or small the stage is.

“The commitment of the actors — I’m just amazed at the amount of time, energy, effort and hard work and the willingness to dig deep into their souls, their energy and emotional resources for no pay,” said O’Boyle, who lives in Nappanee. “They’re doing this for the love of the material, for love of the theater and for the love of Elkhart Civic.”

Tickets for “Company” are $17 for adults and $15 for students and seniors 62 and older. The show has some adult themes and language and would not be recommended for children 13 or younger. Call 574-848-4116 for tickets from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit elkhartcivictheatre.org.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.

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