Broad Brook Opera House Players performing Sondheim’s ‘Company’

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
East Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 12, 2013
Opera House Players, Inc. is performing the musical comedy, ‘Company,’ at the Broad Brook Opera House, through Sept. 22. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Opera House Players, Inc. is now presenting the musical comedy, “Company,” at the Broad Brook Opera House, through Sept. 22.

The show, written by Stephen Sondheim and based on a book by George Furth, is being staged by 14 actors from Connecticut and western Massachusetts. “It revolves around a theme,” said Moonyean Field, a vice president with the Opera House.  “[It’s about] love and marriage,” she said. “Whether you stay single or not, it illuminates those relationships.”

“Company” first debuted on stage in 1970, and is focused on a single man named Bobby. Bobby is having a hard time committing to any one woman, and all his coupled friends around him have an opinion about his single-ness. “Company” is known as the first “concept”-based stage musical; it is staged in short vignettes from Bobby’s life.

Field warns that “it does have some mature themes,” but that “it has some great music; complex music and interesting themes.”
All the performers are dedicated volunteers with careers to balance with their acting interests. “They are community theatre,” said Field. “They are all volunteers.”

But despite balancing the demands of performing and careers, Broad Brook Opera House has recently received some accolades from others in the industry. Massachusetts Critics Circle nominated the group for awards for three of its most recent productions, including: “Next to Normal” for Best Musical, Best Director (Sharon Fitzhenry), Best Male Lead (Luis Manzi), Best Female Lead (Sarah Gilbert), Best Featured Female (Kate Elmendorf), and Best Featured Male (Tomm Knightlee and Josiah Durham); “Hairspray” for Best Choreography (Alison Bogatay); and “Drood” for Best Musical, Best Ensemble, Best Choreography (Kelsey Flynn) and Best Costumes (Moonyean Field).

“We have been at the Opera House in Broad Brook for 10 years,” said President Bill Stepanksy. Formerly known as the St. Martha Players and founded in 1968, Opera House Players, Inc. is the oldest community theater group in the area that performs exclusively musical theater.

Coming up in November is a production of “Footloose.” The Opera House Players are still looking to fill a few male roles.
“Company” will be running Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 22. Call the box office at 860-292-6068 for more information and to get tickets. The Broad Brook Opera House is located at 107 Main St.

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