It’s Erin Weaver as Amy, the neurotic bride-to-be melting down on her wedding day, who offers up one of these socko turns. You may remember her as the goddess gliding cheekily on roller skates last summer in Signature’s clever “Xanadu.” Now, her feet planted firmly on the stage, she provides a smart new spin on Amy and, in the process, delivers a version of the dazzling tongue-twister number, “Getting Married Today,” that is guaranteed to give show-tune fanatics chills.
The other knockout comes from the divine Madeline Botteri, cast as April, the sweet flight attendant Bobby beds who’s hilariously cognizant of her intellectual limitations. Giving her speeches a Midwestern singsong, Botteri finds in her April an implausibly lovable blankness, akin to the soft-spoken cluelessness of Georgia Engel’s Georgette on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Several other actors prove to be deft conservationists in director Eric Schaeffer’s production, wasting not a moment of stage time. These include Tracy Lynn Olivera, as the biting distaff half of a couple too competitive for their own good, and Bobby Smith, who proves that the story of a dissolved marriage in which the partners stay together doesn’t have to seem totally insane.
And as Bobby himself, Matthew Scott has the winning double-barreled combo of looks and voice that compel you to ponder anew the age-old conundrum about “Company”: Who the heck is this Bobby, and why in this tale of missed chances for a single man are the only guests at his 35th birthday party five married couples?
Schaeffer’s smooth and strongly sung production is a bit fuzzy on this question, and while the approach here does no real harm to the show, it doesn’t advance our understanding of it much, either. One key facet that could use some refinement is when, exactly this “Company” occurs. This is no small issue in a musical attempting to take the social temperature of a time and place, by one of the most urbane composer-lyricists in history.
The Bobby who existed in 1970 is a different sort of 35-year-old than the one in 2013, just as the definition of marriage has evolved in the 43 years since “Company” opened. (“Company,” written today, surely would include at least one gay marriage.) The references in Sondheim and Furth’s “Company” are to New York in the late-middle 20th century: In the famous 11 o’clock number “The Ladies Who Lunch,” Joanne — played as a shrill cocktail-lounge loudmouth by Sherri L. Edelen — sings of women who are “clutching a copy of Life / Just to keep in touch.” Life magazine hasn’t occupied a prominent spot on the American scene for decades.