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Stephen Sondheim Reworking His Famous Musical ‘Company’ To Make The Lead Character Gay(er)

Company

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.

HE’S GAY!

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.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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1 thought on “Stephen Sondheim Reworking His Famous Musical ‘Company’ To Make The Lead Character Gay(er)”

  1. Is this for real?
    I’m all for it as I’ve always thought Bobby was gay. I think it would be more interesting if he was bi or bi curious in this revamp as opposed to straight on gay. But I can’t imagne Alan Cummings singing “Ladies who Lunch” or that character being a man at all.
    Anyway this is easily in my Top 3 Sondheim shows, i hope for the best.

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