Bobby, a confirmed bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday, faces a series of separate events with five married couples who are his best friends and past three girlfriends that force him to contemplate his bachelorhood in the comedic Stephen Sondheim musical, “Company,” which opens at the Manhattan Beach Community Church Friday, March 24.
Director Bob Manning said “Company,” which debuted on Broadway in 1970 and was nominated for 14 Tony Awards, is filled with challenging songs and choreography, which can be difficult for a non-professional group.
“We wanted to do something that was a little more edgy … even though it's in the 70s, there's a lot of current day attitudes about relationships and it was still very current,” Manning said.
Even though “Company” has gone through small or major changes in different productions over the decades, Manning said MBCC is staying with the original book by George Furth.
“I watched all the ones I could find … and try and pick what flavor I was interested in,” Manning said.
Manning's first show with MBCC was “You Can't Take it With You” in 2010. His parents were stage actors so he grew up in theater.
“When they needed a kid it was me, no lines,” recalled Manning. “It wasn't a lot, but enough to introduce me to live theater. They used to take me to the cast party because it was easier than hiring a babysitter. I looked around and I'm thinking, 'How come there's nobody my age here?' Everybody’s getting drunk, smoking cigarettes and jumping in the pool and I have to go to bed early.”
Manning said this cast has put in an extraordinary amount of time to make this production of "Company" work. He said even though rehearsals can get stressful, everyone is working hard.
“You can tell people are giving their heart and soul ... that brings tears to my eyes,” Manning said.
Performances of “Company” take place Friday, March 24, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m.; Sunday March 26, at 2 p.m.; Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m.; Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m.; and closing night, Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m.
The MBCC is located at 303 S. Peck Ave.
For more information, visit mbcctheater.com.