Local actors welcome ‘Company’ to the Vail Valley
Ryan Summerlin September 23, 2012
The cast and crew of The Vail Valley Theatre Company’s (VVTC) upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy “Company” are busy volunteering their time to create two weekends of highly-entertaining live theater for the Vail Valley community this October. “Company” revolves around Robert, a single man who celebrates his 35th birthday in the show with his best friends, five married couples. Through a series of vignettes, each couple sheds a different light on the pros and cons of marriage. This week, we meet two more of these couples: “Jenny and David” and “Paul and Amy.”‘Wonderfully unexpected moments’Jenny, played by Franny Gustafson, is sweet and innocent and a bit of a square. David, played by Jason Steinberg, is a good guy who loves his wife unconditionally, but can relate to Robert’s desire to stay single. Through the course of a hilariously intoxicating evening, Jenny and David grill Robert as to why he hasn’t settled down yet.Gustafson, a Minnesota native, has lived in the valley for a year and a half and works as the children’s book specialist at The Bookworm in Edwards. She has been acting since she was a kid, and was last seen in VVTC’s “Heroes and Villains” Cabaret performed at Agave in Avon. “I find theater challenging, scary, and inspiring,” Gustafson said. “Acting requires you to become vulnerable and to grow in ways you never expect. Every rehearsal and performance is different and full of wonderfully unexpected moments.”Jason Steinberg first stepped on the boards his senior year of high school and continued doing shows in college where he studied vocal performance. He has lived in the Vail Valley for four years and currently works at the Ace Hardware in Vail. “In total, I’ve done about 25 musicals and operas,” the Abilene, Texas, native said. “I love singing and performing. I got involved with VVTC about a year ago when I performed in one of their Cabaret shows at The Fitz Lounge in Vail.”‘I’m not getting married today!’We meet our next couple, “Paul and Amy” on their wedding day when Amy is having a full-blown panic attack, convinced she’s not getting married today. Poor Paul is cool as a cucumber attempting to calm her nerves. Robert, the best man, witnesses Amy’s neurosis and realizes she shares the same fears he has when it comes to the commitment of marriage. I’m a real estate broker with Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, and studied theater arts at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, and have lived in Edwards with my husband for seven years. I was last seen in VVTC’s production of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” performed at Montaa’s After Dark in Avon. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play the neurotic bride, Amy. Though I’ve been happily married to my husband for 10 years, it’s so fun to think back on those wedding-day jitters. I’m proud to say I was nothing like Amy on my wedding day.Amy’s fianc, Paul, will be played by Oxford, Miss. native, Scott Hopkins, who teaches 5th-8th grade science at the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, and also teaches ballroom dancing classes at Battle Mountain High School on Monday nights. Hopkins made his first appearance with VVTC three years ago, and thoroughly enjoys volunteering his free time to perform live theater for the Vail Valley.”As a performer, there is an incredible rush that comes from putting yourself out there and witnessing an audience completely enveloped in the story you are telling,” he said. “‘Company’ has so many great moments; the audience will surely relate to many of the thoughts and feelings of the characters we portray in this show.”Stay tuned to this weekly column to meet the rest of the cast and crew. Whether you’re married, single, in a relationship, engaged, divorced, or any combination of the above, you’re sure to enjoy the adventure that is “Company.”Didi Doolittle is a Vail Valley Realtor and actor on the side. Email comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.