Bell Rings, Door Chimes
Jubilee Theatre has reinterpreted the likes of Shakespeare and Molière before, but when it comes to musicals, the troupe usually sticks with original material. And why not, given that their original shows have been such great showcases for their talent? Even so, it’s going to be fascinating to see them take on an established Broadway classic like Company, which starts previews this week and opens next week.
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s show offers a series of vignettes about a 35-year-old bachelor who ponders his unwillingness to commit while all his friends have gotten married. The score finds Sondheim’s songwriting abilities at an astonishing pitch, from the bitchy “The Little Things You Do Together” and the supremely bitter aria “The Ladies Who Lunch” to the bubbly trio “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” and the delightful comic patter song “Getting Married Today.”
Though it’s not unprecedented for black actors to take parts in the show (a British production in the 1990s featured Adrian Lester in the main role), Jubilee seems primed to put a distinctively African-American spin on the material while venturing into what is uncharted territory for the troupe. That in itself makes this show worth recommending. Jubilee’s sumptuous musical talent is sure to be an added bonus.