In celebration of Lyric Stage artistic director Spiro Veloudos’ 20th anniversary season, he will be kicking off the new season with a new production of Company, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 masterwork about love and connection.
“There are so many theories about what Company is about,” said Veloudos. “Is it about the disillusionment of marriage? Is it about a person who can’t find the means to commit? Is it sexual orientation? For me, it’s about a person coming to a point in his life and saying ‘What’s next for me? I’ve done all this, but what’s next?’”
Here, members of the company share their favorite lyrics from the show.
John Ambrosino, Bobby:
But alone is alone, not alive.
To me, this is the basis of the entire show. In a world spinning and catapulting through space, it’s human connection—and ultimately love—that make the experience of living real.
Leigh Barrett, Joanne:
Because I’m reexamining “Ladies Who Lunch” and Joanne, this lyric always gets me. I think that people think they know who Joanne is, [but] I think this lyric is the one that says who she really is.
Rachel Bertone, choreographer:
You always are what you always were, which has nothing to do with, all to do with her.
Inevitably, people change, for better or for worse, from being in relationships. Hopefully our partners challenge us so that we can continue to grow and better ourselves. With that said, it is really special when someone can love and respect you for who you are now and doesn’t need you to change a thing about yourself.
Adrianne Hick, April:
You’ll always be what you always were, which has nothing to do with, all to do with her.
I think it’s a perfect explanation of how sometimes you can feel like you lose yourself in a relationship, or you become someone else. But if it’s a good relationship, you realize that the other person just makes you a better version of yourself.
Will McGarrahan, Larry:
We’ll build a cocoon of love and respect, you promise whatever you like, I’ll never collect.
It perfectly sums of my ideal of a relationship; where you’re free to offer and give, but don’t live in the world of expectations and disappointment.
Erica Spyres, Amy:
Make me confused. Mock me with praise. Let me be used. Vary my days.
Sondheim captures true love’s complexities—that we love someone not in spite of love’s difficulties, but because of them. You can’t vary your days if you’re living in eternal comfort.
Kerri Wilson, Sara:
Someone to need you too much, someone to know you too well.
I love what it says about being in a true relationship.
Todd Yard, David:
She’s tall enough to be your mother. Goliath.
No, it doesn’t have Sondheim’s rhyming pyrotechnics, but I think it’s the funniest lyric in the show, and is SO Joanne.
Matthew Zahnzinger, Peter:
Somebody hold me too close. Somebody hurt me too deep. Somebody sit in my chair, and ruin my sleep, and make me aware of being alive.
I think that Sondheim really isolates what it means to want someone, to want to love someone, and all the fragility and vulnerability and contradictions that come with those feelings. There’s a braveness to Bobby in that moment that we can all relate to when we decide to take that first step and approach someone we care about and welcome them into our lives. It’s one of the most human moments in the play—no pretense, no social facades or contrivances—and, I think, one of the most beautiful.
COMPANY. 9.2–10.7 AT THE LYRIC STAGE COMPANY, 140 CLARENDON ST., BOSTON. LYRICSTAGE.COM