Two students star in “Company” in Moline

Carly Davis

“Company” will be at the The Black Box theater in Moline for its second weekend Oct. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. to finish a successful two-week run. The production features Quad City locals as well as two Augustana students: junior Jacqueline Isaacson and senior Noel Huntley. 

With its music and lyrics by Stephen Sodheim and book by George Furth, “Company” is packed with Broadway standards. Among those is “Getting Married Today,” a song popularized by “Company” but performed on the television show “Glee” with a surprising degree of success. 

Others ─ “Being Alive” and “The Ladies Who Lunch” ─ have become valuable numbers in plenty of singers’ repertoires. All this to say that “Company” is a classic show and highly recommended by this reviewer. 

The Black Box’s production attempts to bring the 51-year old show into the contemporary age. Robert, a man who has just turned 35, grapples with his relationship to marriage as his married friends encourage him to settle down.

Much of the costuming is well-suited to each character with some modern touches, especially in how the lead, Robert, and one of his girlfriends, Marta, are dressed. 

Others are dressed to their age, with respectable semi-formal attire. For one, Isaacson’s Jackie Onassis-esque Susan feels much more grounded in decades past with an A-line dress and string of pearls. 

“I really wanted to have something bright onstage for my costume because I’m a Southern belle. The only thing [the director] wanted for costumes was that he wanted them to be more modern-ish and that he wanted each couple to have a color,” Isaacson said. Isaacson both costumed and acted in the show, something that requires a fair amount of work. 

“It’s been a wild, wild day costuming and being in a show,” Isaacson said. “I’m not sure if I’d ever do it again…As a costumer, there’s my own list of things I need to worry about, and as an actor, I have my other list to worry about, so combining those lists makes a very long list.”

Working on a production off-campus as a full-time college student is a lot of work, but it’s not impossible. 

“Working in “Company” has been so wonderful,” Huntley said. “I love music that challenges me, and there’s rarely a bigger challenge in musical theater than Sondheim.” 

This isn’t Huntley’s first time working with Sondheim. She had two previous roles in “Into the Woods” as Little Red Ridinghood with the Quad City Music Guild and as the Witch in “Into the Woods” at Augustana last spring term. 

Sondheim’s music is notoriously demanding, but his shows are some of Broadway’s most famous: musicals like “Gypsy” and “West Side Story” are as close to household names as a show can get. 

“Being in “Company” is incredible,” Isaacson said. “It’s one of my favorite musicals since I was fourteen years old. Sondheim is one of my favorite composers and singing and working on his music is so difficult but when you get it right, you feel so accomplished.”

Isaacson has also acted in the Sondheim musicals “Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Into the Woods.”

“Watching the entire cast rise to the occasion has been so amazing,” Huntley said. “I’m happy to be a part of it!”

At The Black Box Theater, the Oct. 14 show costs $13, with the 15 & 16 shows at $16. Actors wear plastic face shields while audiences are required to wear face masks for the duration of the show. Tickets can be purchased at The Black Box’s website as well as at the door before performances.