Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

National Tour
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's recent reviews of At the Wedding and Penelope

Derrick Davis, Judy McLane, and Britney Coleman
Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's landmark musical Company may have premiered on Broadway in 1970, but the tour of director Marianne Elliott's reconceived production—in the Opera House at Washington's Kennedy Center through March 31—is totally up to date and a must-see. The ingenious staging and crackling performances demonstrate how times and attitudes may change but interpersonal relationships remain fascinating.

Where composer/lyricist Sondheim and bookwriter Furth focused on Bobby, a New Yorker turning 35 while he observes the lives of his best friends, five married couples, Elliott (with Sondheim's approval) gender-swapped the character. Now Bobbie (Britney Coleman) is facing the big birthday; she seems to have her life together, but her married friends and the men she dates stir up her anxieties as they project their hopes and expectations onto her.

Coleman brings great warmth to Bobbie, whose life looks good to her at the moment, but she has her doubts about the future. Liam Steel's choreography peaks in "Tick Tock," as Bobbie watches avatars of herself dealing with babies and other theoretical future stresses.

Judy McLane triumphs as cynical Joanne, the wealthy woman in the sparkling dress (designed by Bunny Christie) who brings a touch of manic energy to "The Ladies Who Lunch." Other standouts include Matt Rodin as sweet Jamie, having a nervous breakdown on the morning of his marriage to Paul (Jhardon DiShon Milton); Jacob Dickey as winsome flight attendant Andy, who perhaps Bobbie likes because he doesn't think too much; Tyler Hardwick as hipster PJ, who unleashes "Another Hundred People" and leads the close harmony on "You Could Drive a Person Crazy"; and Derrick Davis as Larry, Joanne's husband and stabilizing influence.

Christie also designed the set, which consists of several fairly small, interlocking white boxes that suggest dioramas and focus the audience's attention. Often too many actors crowd into a space, dramatizing Bobbie's emotional claustrophobia.

Company runs through March 31, 2024, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Opera House, 2700 F St. NW, Washington DC. For tickets and information, please call 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600 or visit For information on the tour, visit

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Directed by Marianne Elliott
Choreographed by Liam Steel
Music supervision by Joel Fram

Bobbie: Britney Coleman
Joanne: Judy McLane
Sarah: Kathryn Allison
David: Jed Resnick
Paul: Jhardon DiShon Milton
Larry: Derrick Davis
Peter: Javier Ignacio
Harry: James Earl Jones II
Susan: Marina Kondo
Jamie: Matt Rodin
Jenny: Emma Stratton
Andy: Jacob Dickey
PJ: Tyler Hardwick
Theo: David Socolar
Priest: Marina Kondo