Theater Arts Caltech Presents Company By Stephen Sondheim

Published : Thursday, February 9, 2017 | 12:40 PM

Clockwise from the center: Steve Markham (center), Elizabeth Freeman, Giuliana Viglione, Regina Colombo, David Hodge, Casey Handmer, Ian Garcia, Jake Mattinson, Olivia Hindera, Lydia Kivrak

Theater Arts Caltech, a diverse group of Caltech undergrads/grads/staff/alums, JPL and associated community members, dives headfirst into the Sondheim revival with a contemporary spin on the 1970 musical Company, directed by Brian Brophy. This frank examination on the nature of relationships, marriage and the state of solitude in our post-modern era introduces us to Bobby, an urbanite living in New York City who, on the eve of a seminal birthday, begins to see through the cracks in the seemingly perfect relationships around him and asks plaintively: “What do you get?”.

The role of the charming misfit Bobby is played with extraordinary sensitivity by Steve Markham, a PhD student in Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech, while the married couples, former flames and casual flings that constitute Bobby’s trove of emotional spirit guides are brought to life by the talented band of Theater Arts Caltech players. Choreographer Dr. Crystal Dilworth dynamizes the story with her trademark lyrical intensity and humor in spectacular dance sequences, while musical director Scott Lehmkuhl, a long-time core member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducts a nine-piece orchestra through some of Sondheim’s most memorable, and intricate works, such as “Company”, “Not Getting Married Today”, “Another Hundred People”, “Ladies Who Lunch”, and “Being Alive”.

“This particular Sondheim sets itself apart in that it has a darker tonality and explores more realism with characters and situations,” said Lehmkuhl. Written in 1969 by Sondheim and George Furth, this musical “continues to capture the range of desire by humans in need of contact with each other,” according to Brian Brophy, head of Theater Arts at Caltech. “Many of the early critiques thrown at Company refer to Bobby as “being in the closet”. This production dispels that notion and disrupts the heteronormative universe by democratizing same-sex unions in the casting of the five couples. These casting decisions reflect the diversity of Caltech community and offer a glimpse into the continued struggle to find our most truly authentic self.”

Performances begin February 24 in Ramo Auditorium on the Caltech campus (1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena) and tickets can be purchased in advance through the Caltech Ticket Office at (626) 395-4652 or visit for more information. Prices are as follows: $5 students, $9 staff/faculty/jpl and $18 general admission.

Performance Dates:

• Friday, February 24, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, February 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, February 26, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
• Thursday, March 2, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
• Friday, March 3, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

This event is presented by Theater Arts Caltech with support from Caltech Student Affairs, TIAA, the Moore Hufstedler Fund and the many generous supporters of live theater at Caltech.



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