PNC Broadway Has ‘Company’; Byham Hosts Shawn Colvin & KT Tunstall; Smallpools Plays Thunderbird (Tues., 4/16/24)

COMPANY (musical) by Stephen Sondheim. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh. April 16 – 21

Britney Coleman as Bobbie (center) and the North American Tour of 'Company.' (Photo: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

Britney Coleman as Bobbie (center) and the North American Tour of ‘Company.’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

1) Despite a chaotic and crowded social life, the central character in Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 hit musical comedy is “all alone.” About to turn 35, Bobby (or Bobbie) is still single. Surrounded by close friends, all of whom are married (or, at least, in long-term relationships), none can seemingly understand why their BFF, who is unquestionably straight, has yet to “take the plunge.” And so, they all come together to throw a special birthday celebration. Company premiered on Broadway with Dean Jones playing the lead, replaced by Larry Kert, then George Chakiris for a national tour, and was restaged over the years until Neil Patrick Harris took the role in a special New York Philharmonic concert production in 2011. In 2018, a remake of the show took London’s West End by storm when (most) all of the roles were gender-swapped, casting Rosalie Craig as Bobbie. Sondheim himself helped rewrite the original book created by George Furth.

Even for all of its clever humor, the joy of experiencing Company, however, is not the story line, but the music. Bobbie’s romantic escapades are played out in multiple vignettes, but each has its own unforgettable show-stopping song. Hits like “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “Someone Is Waiting,” “Another Hundred People,” “Marry Me a Little,” “Side by Side by Side,” “Barcelona,” and “The Ladies Who Lunch” are only to be out-anticipated by Bobbie’s final revelation in the masterful “Being Alive.” See the new touring production of Company as part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series at the Benedum Center. 7:30 p.m. 237 7th St., Cultural District. (C.P.O.)

2) April is not the cruelest month for fans of contemporary singer-songwriters. Au contraire, it brings a chance to hear two outstanding musicians for the price of one. The acclaimed Americana artist Shawn Colvin is touring with the equally acclaimed Scottish folk-rocker KT Tunstall. Unless you’ve been tuned out of the genre you probably know Tunstall’s signature hit from the 2000-aughts, “Suddenly I See.” Meanwhile, Colvin remains well known for her Grammy-winning song of the 1990s, “Sunny Came Home.” And the women have hardly been resting on their laurels in recent years. So far, Colvin has released 12 studio albums plus two live albums and counting. Tunstall’s eight albums include 2022’s Nut and last year’s Face to Face (with Suzi Quatro). Shawn Colvin and KT Tunstall perform together in Pittsburgh at the Byham Theater. 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Cultural District. (M.V.)

3) Indie rockers Smallpools, led by founders lead vocalist/keyboardist Sean Scanlon and guitarist Mike Kamerman, hit a home run right out of the gate in 2013. After forming in Los Angeles in 2012, they wrote and produced the song “Dreaming” which reached no. 23 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and was later certified gold. They released the song online before they even played their first live gig. RCA Records signed the band and “Dreaming” was part of their first EP and debut studio album Lovetap. The group released two other albums: Life in a Simulation (2013) and Cameras & Coastlines & Covers (2023). Currently, Smallpools is getting ready to release part one of their two-part album Ghost Town Road, Ghost Town Road East (April 6). Rock the house this month with Smallpools at Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall. Coheadlining is Philadelphia alt rockers Grayscale. Special guests are The Romance, and Fia James. 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. (R.H.)

Smallpools. (Photo: Alex Berger)

Smallpools. (Photo: Alex Berger)


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Rick Handler

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