Sondheim working on gay version of Company
Beloved musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim has told the New York Times he is working on a gay version of his hit musical, Company, which first premiered in 1970.
The original musical which centred on the womanising Bobby and his inability to commit to a relationship has long been a favourite with musical theatre audiences. Over the years many have pondered on the sexuality of Bobby, some assuming he was in fact a closeted gay man.
Sondheim, whilst never having confirmed this, has gone some way towards giving the rumours weight by announcing that he is reworking the show to cast Bobby as a homosexual.
Tony award winning director, John Tiffany proposed the re work to Sondheim and the Broadway composer is said to workshoppong the show with Alan Cummings and Daniel Evans (who played Bobby in a revival of the production a few years ago).
Cummings is rumoured to be playing a male version of Joanne (originally portrayed by Elaine Stritch and later by Patti LuPone, Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie has also been cast.
Sondheim told the New York Times he has been "rewriting lyrics here and there and rewriting some of the dialogue, though as little as possible since George [Furth – who wrote the book for the show] isn't around".
"It's still a musical about commitment, but marriage is seen as something very different in 2013 than it was in 1970. We don't deal with gay marriage as such, but this version lets us explore the issues of commitment in a fresh way."
Image: Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby in the New York Philharmonic Production of Company.