Stephen Sondheim Reworking His Famous Musical ‘Company’ To Make The Lead Character Gay(er)
If you are a theater queen like me, (and the adorable John Berker of the Belerico Project) one of the greatest unanswered questions in the history of Broadway musicals has been whether or not the lead character of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company is gay.
Now, after all these years Stephen Sondheim, along with director John Tiffany, is reworking the show to make Bobby’s sexuality explicitly clear.
Patrick Healy of the New York Times reports that Tiffany, reworked the show so that Bobby is now “a gay man with commitment issues and multiple boyfriends.” Some of the formerly female roles will now be played by men. In a reading set to take place this week, Alan Cumming will play the role that was once “Joanne” originally played by Elaine Stritch in the original who sings one of the show’s most famous number, “Ladies Who Lunch.”. Sondheim told Healy that while the show will still have the same themes “marriage is seen as something very different in 2013 than it was in 1970.” He added: “We don’t deal with gay marriage as such, but this version lets us explore the issues of commitment in a fresh way.”
And it only took 42 years. But hey, better late than never.
From the February 20th, 2008 “Company” edition of “Great Performances” on PBS.