2001 - 2002
Amidst the clashing sounds and pulsing rhythms of modern Manhattan dwells Robert - all alone in his sleek bachelor apartment. He returns home on the evening of his 35th Birthday and listens to the messages on his machine; discovering that his friends, are preparing a surprise birthday party. As he begins to imagine what the party will be like, his married friends enter: Sarah and Harry, Susan and Peter, Jenny and David, Amy and Paul, Joanne and Larry. As he attempts to blow out the candles on his cake, his friends make a wish for him: he ought to be happily married - just like them. But in the incessant click-buzz of the telephone he has found his own happiness - good times with chums and pals, no strings, just Company.
He begins to reflect on the events of the past; first remembering an evening at Sarah and Harry's apartment. Harry has quit booze, Sarah is fighting the inch war - and they're both taking it out on each other. As Sarah demonstrates her newly-acquired karate skills, a friendly chorus observe that it's The Little Things You Do Together that keep a marriage alive. Robert isn't entirely convinced and asks Harry if he's sorry he got married? Or is he grateful? Well, yes and no says Harry, with help from David and Larry in Sorry-Grateful.
Across town, at Susan and Peter's, Robert finds an enviable idyllic marriage. Peter is proud and affectionate, Susan sweet and adoring: but there is a reason. Robert moves to Jenny and David's, where the guys are reliving their past with marijuana and Jenny attempts to keep up with them, for David. They talk about ... marriage. Robert says he just wants to meet the right girl; right now he is dating three girls and will soon be ready to take the big step. The girls, April, Kathy, and Marta, appear and tell a different story in You Could Drive a Person Crazy. Everyone, it seems, knows what's best for Robert: Have I Got a Girl For You! promise his friends, as they pair him off with chicks from the office and nieces from Ohio. But Robert knows what he wants: somewhere Someone Is Waiting, his ideal girl, a mix and match of the five wives he knows best.
Next stop in this daydream is a park, as a drifting tide of single women washes all around Robert: April, Kathy, Marta and Another Hundred People swarming up from the subway. It seems some of the women in his life won't wait forever though. Even Paul and Amy are tying the knot, after years of merely living together. But, at the wedding breakfast, Amy announces that she has no intention of Getting Married Today. A devastated Paul leaves and Robert asks the distraught ex-bride-to-be if she'll have him instead. Amy declares that "you have to want to marry somebody, not just some body". She rushes off to find Paul. Robert, alone on stage, contemplates the need to be connected to someone - Marry Me A Little but he is not ready for a full commitment. The act ends with a second imagined attempt to get his wish, but the candles on the birthday cake remain lit until he is helped(?) by his friendly chorus yet again.
Act II opens with a new image of the surprise party: Robert and his good friends congratulate themselves on their good fortune in going through life Side By Side By Side. But, as they fall into a good-natured vaudeville routine, Robert realizes that everyone has a dancing partner except him. "What Would We Do Without You?" chorus his friends. "Just what you usually do", he replies. But they do worry so. As Robert beds April, his lady friends brood on her unsuitability. Poor Bobby, Poor Baby, they sigh. All they want is for him to find a nice girl. But April? The morning after, the alarm wakes them. She has to fly to Barcelona. Look, this isn't just a one night stand, he reassures does she have to leave? Couldn't she stay?
Susan and Peter are back from Mexico, where they enjoyed getting their divorce. They're now living together. While Susan takes Marta into the kitchen, Peter, searching for intimacy, brings up the subject of homosexuality. Both say they have had experiences and Peter obliquely hits on Bobby. Bobby figures Peter is putting him on and leaves a confused Peter alone.
At a night club, while Larry wiggles on the dance floor, Joanne gets drunk and jealous and attracts the attention of a group of bitchy onlookers. She proposes a toast to them: here's to The Ladies Who Lunch (and their empty lives). She also propositions Robert. He's looked at all these marriages, and what do you get for it? But then he understands what his friends already know: part of Being Alive is committing to caring for somebody else, before yourself. That's what it's really about, isn't it? We return back to Bobby's apartment and the evening of his 35th Birthday. His friends are waiting to yell "surprise" but Bobby is nowhere to be seen. They leave and he comes out from his hiding place. He blows out his candles and smiles.
Artistic Director: Bob Lackey
Musical Director: John McGovern
Choreographer: Debbie Miller