Company at the Venus Cabaret Theatre. April 2018

After showing the seating host my ticket, I was quickly shown to my seat in the Venus Cabaret theater. I had seen it in its early construction phases and the glimmering marble countertops and leather seats had made the room feel like a ritzy underground entertainment club.

This feeling was amplified when a charcuterie plate was placed in front of me complete with a variety of artisanal cheese and prosciutto. I told the server that there must be a mistake, since we didn’t order any, and they replied that there was no mistake; it was for us!

Amazingly, my next thought (when I still couldn’t fathom how nicely I was being treated) was: oh, no they must think I’m a VIP or something!

It was then that I took a second to look around, and realized that every member of the audience was given charcuterie and being given VIP-esque treatment. And that’s when I remembered- Company is about a birthday party, and Walter Stearns made it his mission for us to feel like party guests.

This theme followed through the show, even as the lights dimmed and the cheerful earworm music that could only be Sondheim began. The cast was a cast of very talented and welcoming individuals, who would lean over and side chat with their audience after belting out some amazing songs. David Sajewich and Jenna Coker-Jones, who play Bobby and Amy, stand out in particular; with David’s earnest and endearing portrayal of the lead, and Jenna as, well, one of the funniest and heart wrenching songs ever written.

So don’t walk, run to join the party! Get your seats and your charcuterie (and yes, birthday cake) and settle in for one of the most enjoyable shows I have seen in recent times. Company at the Venus Cabaret is a delightful look at love and relationships that shouldn’t be missed!

Spike Manton