The cast of Company taking center stage on opening night.

The cast of Company taking center stage on opening night.

By Natalie Khatchadourian, contributing writer

“Two is company, three’s a crowd” is how the saying goes. Bergenstages raised its curtain to the premiere night of Company. The musical takes place in the 1970s in New York City, where Robert, played by Bergen Community College’s own Philip Hackett, is the only one in his group of friends that is not married. Trying to enjoy life, but also with the stress of their friends on his shoulders, Robert tries to decide what he really wants; to either stay single or to listen to his friends and just get married.

“We wanted to get a more contemporary feel to this year’s musical and challenge ourselves with a Stephen Sondheim.” said director/producer Jim Bumgardner. Not only is the cast limited to students and alumni of the school, but also people from the community who are more than welcome to audition. Many of the cast members are current or alumni students from BCC. Rosa Martinez, who played the role of April, was a returning student. It’s always good to see students return to where it all might have started for them.

“Jim Bumgardener, who is the director, is fantastic.” said Philip Hackett. “I’ve worked with him twice before and that was a big draw to the show. He is fantastic to work with and everyone here at Bergen are really wonderful to work with.”. This is not Philips first time on stage. His previous shows include The Threepenny Opera, The 1940’s Radio Hour, Oklahoma! and much more. He is currently studying History Education and Theater.

As the musical went on, the audience got a feel of what the big picture was. To live the life you want and not to listen what others have to say about it. Be the only person who determines when it’s the best time to make a life changing decision. Birthday, after birthday, Robert wished for nothing. Thinking that the single life is all hyped up to what it really is, but sadly towards the end, he’s searching for that special someone to have a deep connection with, to have ‘company.’

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Photos Courtesy of Noura Dakka

At all previous birthdays, Roberts friends helped him blow the candles out. But in the final scene, the group has waited over an hour and there is no sign of Robert. When his friends blew the candles out, it was implying that they as his friends should support him in any decision he makes. Finally when they are all about to leave, Robert appears and finally blows out his own candle. He is the one who decides what the next step is.

The curtain finally came to a close on opening night. The cast and crews worked long hours to produce a wonderful show. A job well done to all members, especially Jim Bumgardener for producing an amazing show.