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Time to settle down?

Sondheim classic explores marriage with ambivalence

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Sherri L. Edelen, The Ladies Who Lunch, Thomas Adrian Simpson, Matthew Scott, Signature, Company
Sherri L. Edelen, The Ladies Who Lunch, Thomas Adrian Simpson, Matthew Scott, Signature, Company

Sherri L. Edelen, center, sings the classic ‘The Ladies Who Lunch,’ with costars Thomas Adrian Simpson, left, and Matthew Scott. Signature’s ‘Company’ production runs through the end of June. (Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy Signature)

‘Company’
Through June 30
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA
$30-$100
703-820-9771
signature-theatre.org

“Company’s” marriage-phobic Robert (better known as Bobby) is turning 35. As he slides into middle age, maybe it’s time for the perennial party boy to get serious? His married friends certainly think so. His girlfriends would appreciate a little commitment. But Bobby isn’t quite there yet.

A string of relationship-themed vignettes surrounded by out composer Stephen Sondheim’s outrageously dazzling score, “Company” premiered in 1970. Today, George Furth’s book can feel a tad dated, but in Signature Theatre’s solid production staged by Eric Schaeffer, the show’s irony and focus on loneliness and inability to commit remain as strong as ever.

Bobby (Matthew Scott) likes a laugh and a smart cocktail. He keeps things on the surface. His social circle is comprised of five couples. And while they adore their single friend, they really want Bobby to be hitched too, and tell him so repeatedly. As Bobby makes the rounds to his pals’ respective Manhattan flats on the eve of his birthday, he (and us) get a glimpse into the lives of couples at different stages of married life: the about-to-be married, the recently married, the longtime married and the often married. They insist he needs what they have, explained musically with “The Little Things You Do Together.” And still, Bobby’s not biting.

A trio of his latest girlfriends gripes about Bobby’s inability to commit in a terrific version of “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” Bobby remains unfazed.

Neither the play nor the production ever really clarifies just why Bobby is so loath to commit. It’s been suggested that he’s gay. In a scene with the recently divorced, newly bisexual Peter (Bobby Smith), Bobby admits that he’s had more than one homosexual experience but makes it clear that he’s not gay, dismissing Peter’s advances as a joke.

Standouts in a talented cast include real life couple Erin Driscoll and James Gardiner who play husband and wife David and Jenny. She enjoys getting stoned. He likes to believe she’s squarer than she is. As boozy, acerbic Joanne (the part famously created by the legendary Elaine Stritch), Sherri L. Edelin gives a ferocious rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch.” And Eric Weaver is a hoot as the highly nervous bride-to-be Amy who sings Sondheim’s often sung patter song “Getting Married Today.”

The show’s best moments include Bobby’s dim stewardess date April (Madeline Botteri) singing “Barcelona,” that wistful ode to the one-night-stand; and another girlfriend Marta (Carolyn Cole), a young Bohemian besotted with New York’s diversity, expressing her love for the Big Apple with “Another Hundred People.”

As Bobby, Matthew Scott brings a gorgeous voice and good looks to the role. He also affectively makes the transition from a sort of charming social automation to an actual feeling person. As the show unfolds, he becomes increasingly agitated and aware that something is lacking in his world. Ultimately he comes to life with an emotionally jarring version of “Being Alive.”

New York City figures prominently in “Company.” Rather appropriately, Daniel Conway’s set is sleek — all steel and glass like a skyscraper, and Frank Labovitz’s costumes are mostly gray. Despite some mod dresses and a few projected images of late model cars, the production doesn’t feel particularly moored to a specific year. It’s just a 30-something man experiencing life, loneliness and sex in the city (with great music). And that’s timeless.

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DC Center to host Alzheimer’s awareness event

‘Seniors & Cognition’ talk to explore warning signs, healthy brain practices

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The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center, the DC Department on Aging and Community Living, and the Alzheimer’s Association are joining forces to host “Seniors & Cognition with the Alzheimer’s Association” on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. 

Guest speakers will walk the audience through understanding Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, their warning signs, healthy brain practices, and more. The lecture series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions, with the others set to take place in August and September. 

To register, visit the DC Center’s website

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Sports

Brittney Griner and wife celebrate birth of their son

Cherelle Griner gave birth to healthy baby boy earlier this month

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Brittney Griner (Screen capture via Instagram)

It’s a boy for Brittney and Cherelle Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center revealed the news in interviews with CBS Sports and NBC News. 

“Every minute I feel like he’s popping into my head, said Griner. “Literally everything revolves around him. And I love it.”

The couple officially welcomed the baby boy on July 8. He weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

“That’s my man. He is amazing,” Griner told CBS Sports. “They said as soon as you see them, everything that you thought mattered just goes out the window. That’s literally what happened.” 

Griner, 33, corrected the CBS News correspondent who said, “You’re about to be a mom!” She told her Cherelle, 33, had already delivered the baby and that she preferred to be called,“Pops.” 

Griner told NBC News correspondent Liz Kreutz they chose to name their newborn son, “Bash.” 

The WNBA star said she is Bash’s biggest fan and is constantly taking photos of him. “My whole phone has turned into him now,” Griner told CBS Sports.

The baby comes as Griner gets set to play in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game and then head to Paris with Team USA to compete for their 8th straight gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games. 

“It kind of sucks because I have to leave, but at the same time, he will understand,” said Griner. 

Her time in Paris will mark the first time since the basketball star was released from a Russian gulag, where she was held on drug charges for nearly 10 months in 2022.

“BG is locked in and ready to go,” Griner told NBC News on Friday. “I’m happy, I’m in a great place. I’m representing my country, the country that fought for me to come back. I’m gonna represent it well.”

Griner also spoke with NBC News about her hopes the U.S. can win the freedom of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian maximum security prison on Friday. 

“We have to get him back,” she said. 

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Calendar

Calendar: July 19-25

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, July 19

“Center Aging Friday Tea Time” will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more details, email [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Happy Hour” at 7 p.m. at Puro Gusto. This event is ideal for making new friends, professional networking, idea-sharing, and community building. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, July 20

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Brunch” at 11 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. This fun weekly event brings the DMV area LGBTQ+ community, including allies, together for delicious food and conversation. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

“LGBTQ People of Color Support Group” will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. This peer support group is an outlet for LGBTQ People of Color to come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Sunday, July 21

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Dinner” at 6:30 p.m. at Federico Ristorante Italiano Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. Guests are encouraged to come enjoy an evening of Italian-style dining and conversation with other LGBTQ+ folk. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Funday Social and Games” at 3 p.m. at Moxy. This event is ideal for making meaningful new connections and informal community building, or just to unwind and enjoy the group happy hour. There will be Monopoly, chess, checkers, Jenga and many other games. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Monday, July 22

Center Aging: Monday Coffee & Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice. For more details, email [email protected].

“Queer Book Club” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. The club meets on the fourth Monday of the month to discuss queer books by queer authors. This month’s read is yet to be announced. For more details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, July 23

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable. Guests are encouraged to bring their most authentic self to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. Admission is free and more details are on Eventbrite.

Coming Out Discussion Group will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a peer-facilitated discussion group and a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

“Genderqueer DC” will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary, whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis. For more details, email [email protected].

Wednesday, July 24

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

“Asexual and Aromantic Group” will meet at 7 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This is a space where people who are questioning this aspect of their identity or those who identify as asexual and/or aromantic can come together, share stories and experiences, and discuss various topics. For more details, email [email protected].

Thursday, July 25

Virtual Yoga with Charles M. will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. For more details, visit the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s website.

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