Huron University College will host a classic Broadway musical on Feb. 2: Stephen Sondheim’s and George Furth’s Company, performed by the Huron Underground Dramatic Society (HUDS).
Premiering in 1970 on Broadway, Company is known for being a groundbreaking musical for its time, challenging audiences’ ideas of marriage and relationships.
“It’s a musical that explores the scenes of contemporary relationships, societal views of marriage and ... the theme of uncertainty,” explains musical director Sean Yauk.
The play focuses on the character of Robert, who will be played by Matthew Patterson in the HUDS performance.
“The show details his struggles to decide on what he needs to be happy and what he wants out of his life and relationships, but through the fun of a musical comedy,” Patterson says.
"The last person to play Robert in a major production was Neil Patrick Harris," he adds. "So those are some pretty big shoes to fill."
Company continues to explore relationships in new and relevant ways. An upcoming production of the show in London, England features a gender-swapped protagonist, putting a new spin on the character of Robert, who is normally portrayed as a disillusioned bachelor.
HUDS is also providing a unique take on the play.
“We’re going to be doing things like scaling down some of the intricate set pieces that were involved in the original production and trying to make an effort to portray the characters as more relatable individuals,” says Yauk.
“Audience members can expect to have more of a relatable and intimate theatrical experience.”
HUDS has previously performed original student-written sketch shows, such as The Godfather-er.
“The Huron Underground Dramatic Society has never actually produced a full-scale Broadway musical before, so this is the first time that we’re staging something of this caliber,” says Yauk.
Patterson is prepared to rise to the challenge. “As much as it is more challenging, it is also a lot more rewarding to see the full show come together and to really engage with a play in a meaningful way,” he says.
Company runs from Feb. 2–4 at The Beaver Dam at Huron, and doors open at 7:30 p.m.