In his essential memoir/lyric compendium/collection of grumpy-old-man thoughts Finishing the Hat, Stephen Sondheim observed that Company was a landmark, and one that divided audiences and critics when it arrived in 1970 because it was a book musical that was basically plotless. Based on 11 short plays by George Furth about relationships, the musical instead explores the state of the lonely, uncommitted Robert, who is the perennial third wheel to his friends. Set on his 35th birthday, each of the scenes showcases Robert's interactions with and observations on his married friends. What makes things really work are Sondheim's glorious songs — this is the show that solidified his place as a major voice in American musical theater — ranging from "Another Hundred People" to "Side by Side" to "The Ladies Who Lunch." Theatre Latte Da will be tackling the show in a new production at the Ordway's McKnight Theatre. Veteran director Peter Rothstein is putting his signature stamp on Sondheim and Furth's creations. Dieter Bierbrauer leads the cast as Bobby, with 13 other local actors taking on the roles of the main character's friends.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 25. Continues through Nov. 18, 2012