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Wednesday, February 1,2012

A single man

Chad DeKatch heads up the ensemble cast of Sondheim's 'Company'

by Christopher Horb

When the lights come up on the Holt Dimondale Community Players’ production of “Company,” it will be the realization of a dream for its star, Chad DeKatch.

 “I love Sondheim, of course, and I’ve always been a really big fan of this show.  This is one of those roles I’ve always wanted to do,” said DeKatch, who leads the cast as Bobby in the Stephen Sondheim musical.

 “Company,” directed by Kelly Stuible, bows Thursday at Holt Junior High School.

It’s a character — and a story — DeKatch can strongly relate to these days.

 “It’s about a single 35-year-old man surrounded by lots of married friends, and I am a 35-year-old man with lots of married friends," he said, with a laugh.  “He’s on this journey to figure out what he wants from his life and his relationships.  I’ve been on a similar journey the last couple years.”

In “Company,” confirmed bachelor Bobby finds himself examining the ins and outs of marriage and monogamy by examining the lives of his closest friends — five very different sets of couples — as he celebrates his birthday and begins to question his stance on intimacy.

“These themes and questions are just so universal.  (Bobby) is asking ‘Am I meant to share my life with someone?  Do I even want to share my life with someone?’” DeKatch said.

“I don’t think anyone has found the equation for a perfect relationship, but he’s kind of looking to his friends for answers.”

The cast includes Joe Quick, Doak Bloss, Joe Dickson, Sarah Hauck, Mandy Fuller, Joe Baumann, Mandy Fuller, Shelly Garyet, Nate Tyocki, Nicole Martin, Abbie Tyocki, Abigail English, Amanda Knowlton and Veronica Gracia-Wing.

“Company,” which won the Tony Award for best musical of 1970, is known for its unusual non-linear plot being composed of series of vignettes. Its best-known numbers include “Being Alive,” “Marry Me A Little” and “Side by Side by Side.”

 “Sondheim truly is brilliant — and he’s actually pretty difficult to sing,” DeKatch said. “He’s a master of making you think a song is going in one direction, but then taking it in a completely different one.”

DeKatch said the show has endured because there’s so much for audience members — whether single or married — to identify with in Bobby’s journey of self-discovery.

 “He’s a good guy, very real. You want to get on board with him and make the right decision — whatever that decision is. You want him to win.

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