Sandpaper is baby bottom-soft compared to Stephen Sondheim's classic, multiple-Tony Award-winning musical Company. Although you'd never call any score by Sondheim rough, this one about the joys (!) of modern marriage can scour your skin off. George Furth's book is a blowtorch, and Sondheim's music and ironic lyrics are incomparable: "The Little Things You Do Together," "Another Hundred People," "Being Alive," "The Ladies Who Lunch." The story, sophisticated as a Manhattan penthouse, perfectly encapsulates the swingin' '70s as it follows bachelor Bobby, who can't decide if he should get married or stay single. With only his conflicted married friends to offer advice, his is a puzzle only Sondheim can ponder.

After a fire recently torched Masquerade Theatre's production facilities and their hopes of putting on The Full Monty, Evan Tessier, veteran Masquerade actor and patron services director, explained, "We decided to go with something a little more streamlined and elegant that doesn't involve so much stagecraft. We started out in the black box on Shepherd where we did a lot of shows that were more edgy, shows that focused on the actors as opposed to the spectacle. Company's a perfect show to get back to our roots." 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Through April 18. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-861-7045 or visit $26.25 to $66.25.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: April 10. Continues through April 18, 2010

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