Phone rings, door chimes: Meet the cast of Broadway's new Company revival
Katrina Lenk as Bobbie
Who’s in the mood for a birthday party? Next month, the much-anticipated revival of Company is arriving on Broadway with The Band’s Visit’s Katrina Lenk stepping into the role of Bobbie – a gender-flipped twist on the male Bobby, now a perpetually single woman about to turn 35 and facing the judgement of all her married friends. The new spin on Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 musical comes from Tony-winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time, Angels in America) and comes to New York after a 2018 run in London’s West End (the Broadway cast is all new, save for the iconic Patti LuPone as Joanne).
“When we looked at it, it was clear that I wanted to refresh it and make it modern, make it say something for today. And if you're going to do that, then the issue of the protagonist being 35 and having everything in their life they could possibly want, but not with a partner, becomes much more relevant if it's about a 35-year-old woman as opposed to a 35-year-old man,” Elliott explained.
EW has an exclusive look at Lenk, LuPone, and the rest of Company’s company in a colorful series of cast portraits. Read on for the guest list and more details from Elliott.
Nikki Renée Daniels as Jenny and Christopher Fitzgerald as David
Bobbie isn't the only Company character getting a revamp — the production also updates the genders and dynamics of some of her friends. "I thought, in the original piece all the men are the breadwinners and all the women are the housewives. And in 2020 that's not always the case," notes Elliott.
Take married couple Jenny and David — she's now a career woman and friend of Bobbie’s who had a life of her own before getting hitched, and he's a stay-at-home dad. “In the original Jenny is a bit nervous because she's trying out pot for the first time and she's a little bit neurotic, and David is much more sanguine about the idea of smoking pot, but he's also sanguine about the idea of marriage. I switched that around so Jenny took all of David's lines, David took all of Jenny's lines. So they're still the same characters, they're just different genders.”
Rashidra Scott as Susan and Greg Hildreth as Peter
Another couple, Susan and Peter, got a similar 2020-style update. In the original version, Susan suffers from fainting spells, and her husband, Peter, is considering getting a divorce. This time around, it's Peter who's afraid of heights and faints a lot, while Susan is the one looking for independence.
Etai Benson as Paul and Matt Doyle as Jamie
The character of Amy — who sings about not "Getting Married Today" to longtime beau Paul — has now become Jamie, making the pair a gay couple.
Changing characters' genders "had a knock-on effect on everything," Elliott says, but she adds, "what was extraordinary about it, all this time that we've been working on it, is how easily it does fit and it shows the extraordinary strength of all of the writing because it can take on a different guise, like Shakespeare can — Shakespeare could take different guises because the writing is really brilliant. So it never felt like we were trying to shoehorn it in."
Christopher Sieber as Harry and Jennifer Simard as Sarah
"It's very, very familiar as a piece because everybody knows the music," Elliott says. "But it's also seeing it with a different lens, it's like watching it through different spectacles — and it's refreshing, I think."
Patti LuPone as Joanne
Everybody rise for the inimitable LuPone, reprising her role as Joanne (and singer of "The Ladies Who Lunch") from the London production.
"Patti is just an absolute gem, I truly mean that. She is such a company member. She's so open, so easy. She loves direction, loves working with people as part of a family. She's quite maternal — it's probably that Italian thing in her, she's a real Italian kind of mama to everybody," Elliott says. "She loved the company in London, she seems to love the company here. So it's been joyous. I mean, she's honestly amazing."
Terence Archie as Larry
Apart from LuPone, the rest of the Company cast is brand-new for the Broadway run. "I wanted to make it an American piece because I feel like it is an American piece. I felt like we needed to recreate it from the ground up with Americans and New Yorkers," Elliott explained. "All the new guys have been teaching me a lot about New York, although I've always totally been in love with New York and spent a lot of time here over the years, but what they bring to the piece in terms of how they feel about being a New Yorker today has been fascinating."
Claybourne Elder as Andy
Bobby becomes Bobbie, and Bobby's girlfriends become Bobbie's boyfriends. Here's Andy — renamed from April — a flight attendant who has to report for duty on a flight to "Barcelona."
Bobby Conte Thornton as P.J.
One of the songs that has gone through a "huge change" for Broadway is "Another Hundred People," sung by P.J. (previously Marta) — which is about New York City but also, in this modern-day incarnation, speaks to the feeling of being single and trying to find love on dating apps.
"Some people have said that this piece is about the dehumanizing effect of trying to find love in a sort of divided world. I think that's more the case now than it was in 1970. Even though you can meet 100 people every day, because of the disposability of all of the people that you meet and the disposability of you when they meet you, there's always somebody just around the corner, why would they want to spend much more time with you?" Elliott says with a laugh. "So I'm trying to get that in here."
Kyle Dean Massey as Theo
The third member of Bobbie's boyfriends trio (renamed from Kathy in the original Company). Together, the guys all commiserate of her, "You could drive a person crazy..."
The Company company
Company begins previews March 2, ahead of an opening night on March 22 (which also happens to be Sondheim's 90th birthday). RSVPs aren't required, but tickets will be.