“Company, a Musical Comedy” at GHC’s Bishop Center

You’ve probably noticed the promotional campaign around town for “Company.” From all reports, it is promising to be worth the hype. The Tony-award winning Broadway hit is being produced by Grays Harbor College at the Bishop Center for the Performing Arts, launching a two-weekend run on Friday, March 3.

Set on the night of his 35th birthday in 1970, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, Bobby’s friends share the pros and cons of taking on a spouse, forcing him to question his defense of singlehood.

Chris Fruto stars as Robert, who Harborites will probably recognize from his 11 years of participation in Grays Harbor community theater and Opera Workshop.

“I relished at the opportunity, and could not pass up the opportunity to be in one of my favorite Sondheim shows of all time,” Fruto said.

“This production is incredibly unique, featuring hilarious scenes, intricate music, bold scenic design, and a supremely talented cast and crew” said theater Director Dr. Andrew Gaines.

Gaines also celebrated the live orchestra under the direction of Bill Dyer, choreography of Michael Amendola, vocal direction of Kari Hasbrouck and technical direction of Art Oestreich.

Oestreich teamed up with the college carpentry program to assemble a massive 40-foot scaffolding to provide a full-stage second story on which the actors can freely sing and dance — while also safely scaling to great heights.

Gaines’ Assistant Director and Stage Manager Saebre Winn-Lark concurred.

“This cast is one of the best I’ve been lucky enough to work with,” Winn-Lark said. “Everyone’s been dedicated since day one and the collaborative spirit has been so strong. We’ve built a fantastic show.”

Brenda Girard, who plays the delightfully spacey April, said she has learned so much from the unique experience.

“I am forever grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group of people,” Girard said.

Stephen Sondheim’s Company is largely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre, and features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of the composer’s best-known songs.

The original Broadway production opened in 1970 inspiring the creative team at the Bishop Center to set their production in that era. Luckily, Jeannie McNeal and the Driftwood Players generously offered to help costume the show replete with genuine vintage leisure suits and other hip fashions from their extensive collection.

“Having the opportunity to work with the cast and crew of Company has been a trip,” McNeal said. “Like the threads of the 70s, they rock.”

When asked why this show was selected, Dr. Gaines explained, “I love to produce new and unique events on the Harbor which has a long and rich history of mounting so many shows. From what I’ve researched, no one has ever tackled ‘Company’ — and it’s a magnificent gem of a musical.”

If you want to go:

“Company” runs March 3-5 and 10-12 at the Bishop Center for Performing Arts. Curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children under age 12 (some material is inappropriate for children). Tickets are available in advance at ghc.edu/bishop or by calling 360-538-4066. You can also buy them at the door, but that is not recommended as lines can be long.


ROBERT — Chris Fruto

SARAH — Mikaela Murphy

HARRY — Matthew Kline

SUSAN — Mercedes Margaris

PETER — Eric Bjella

JENNY — Alexa Amarok

DAVID — Elliot Loudenback

AMY — Natalee Beavers

PAUL — Noah Johnson

JOANNE — Francesca Hermsen

LARRY — Stan Sidor

MARTA — Marisa Frank

KATHY — Tay Jarvis

APRIL — Brenda Girard