One musical was a landmark, forever changing the way musicals are written. The other is a legend, the longest-running musical in Broadway history. Both will be seen the last weekend in July at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater, in stunning productions filmed in HD.
Stephen Sondheim's Company broke all of the rules when it opened on Broadway in 1970. Rather than developing a story in a standard, straight-line way, Sondheim tells the story in a series of related scenes, using songs to comment on the action. Company follows New York bachelor Bobby as he searches for love while all of his friends are in troubled relationships. The messy, turbulent, thrilling search for love is perfectly reflected in the episodic arrangement of the score, which contains the famous "Ladies Who Lunch" and Bobby's cry for companionship, "Being Alive."
Sondheim's brilliant score and witty lyrics won the Tony Award for Best Score.
Town Hall Theater will offer an exclusive screening of the recent New York production, with Neil Patrick Harris leading a star-studded cast that includes Patti LuPone, John Cryer, Craig Bierko, and most unexpectedly, TV's Stephen Colbert. The LA times called the production "intoxicating," and said the musical "never seemed funnier" than with this high-powered cast of veterans.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera opened in 1986, and has since been seen by over 100 million people worldwide. On the occasion of its 25th anniversary a mega-production was staged at London's Royal Albert Hall, with over 200 cast members and luminaries who were involved with the show over the first 25 years. The result is a stunning evening of spectacle and music.
The staging is based on the original direction by Harold Prince, with its famous crashing chandelier. The lush romantic score holds several well-known hits, including the haunting "Music of the Night."
Tickets to each broadcast are $15, with a special student ticket of only $8, making this a great way to introduce young people to the magic of musical theater. Tickets may be purchased at www.townhalltheater.org, 802 382-9222, at the THT Box Office (Noon- 5 pm, Mon-Sat) or at the door.