If you’re looking for an alternative to binging season 1 and 2 of This is Us and made for TV live musicals on your DVR, and you’re burnt out on Marvel Movies, you should seriously get yourself over to the Historic Holly Theatre in Dahlonega. Right now the cast of Company is performing a show that will entertain you in 3 dimensions without the annoying glasses. This is a slice of life musical about adulting which is relatable on so many levels. It’s the story of 35 year old non-committal Robert, his friends comprised of 5 couples, and his 3 love interests. The play is written by Tony Award winning Stephen Sondheim, so you know it’s good.
I recently enjoyed an interview with the actor who plays Robert, Alex Fowler. Alex has been performing in the North Georgia theater community for several years. He has an amazing voice and is likable on stage and in person. He was gracious enough to answer my e-interview questions. If you’re a fan of his work, here’s a chance to get to know him better:
Where have you gotten your training?
I started out as a high school athlete that sang in chorus on the side because both of my parents sing (“monkey see, monkey do,” I guess). At the beginning of the baseball season, I tweaked a muscle in my back and was sidelined for a long while. In that downtime, I was able to focus on other things, and I discovered that I genuinely loved music and singing in particular. At age 15, I told my parents that I wanted to be a singer, and thankfully, their being well-connected musicians came in handy for me. They were able to connect me with Dr. Gregory Broughton at the University of Georgia for voice lessons, and I have been studying with him ever since. Six years later, this classical vocal training has opened up so many avenues and created many possibilities for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As far as theatrical training goes, a lot of it comes from the hard knocks of performing and then trying to improve based on that. My official acting training, however, can be attributed to my being with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance from 2015-2017.
What is next for you after Company?
Starting in August, I will be transferring to Lee University to work towards obtaining a BA in Music (Voice). I took a gap year this past school year to re-calibrate and to really figure out what path I’m supposed to take in life, and thankfully I’ve figured out the next few steps! At Lee, I hope to be a part of a prestigious performance ensemble, as well as to continue growing my singing ability and musicianship. In the meantime, I will be saving money and spending a lot of my summer with family and friends before I go off to college in Tennessee.
What can audience members expect when they come to see Company?
Above everything that I’m about to say, it is such a fun show to experience, and it lends itself to every audience member in a different way. It’s rare to have a cast that involves everyone putting their hearts into what they’re doing, but this cast is going that extra mile. Furthermore, this is honestly the only community theatre production I’ve ever seen, been a part of, or known of where every single person in the cast is completely capable, proficient, and dedicated to making the show as good as it can possibly be. In that sense, I think that it easily rivals a professional production. The music is just incredible. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Wow, I get to sing this song,” and it applies to all of my songs! No exaggeration, the material is just that good. Audience members will laugh, cry, and smile as they see this story unfold before them. It’s a special cast, a special show, and it makes for one very entertaining theatrical experience!
Anything else you’d like for us to know?
Even though this is probably a show you’ve not heard of (unless you’re a big musical theatre buff), you should still come and see it! It’s got something in it for everyone. The characters are all fun, and they will probably remind you of people from your own life. If you’re not a big musical person or theatre person, I still think that you’d enjoy this one. It’s more grounded and realistic than your traditional musical. Even so, it doesn’t take itself so seriously that it takes the joy out of what a musical should bring to the audience. There are wacky and crazy moments that will make you laugh out loud, and there are more serious, thought-provoking moments that can pull at the heartstrings. Like I said before, there’s something for everyone! Also, if you do come and see it, be sure to tell other people about it! In theatre, word of mouth is very important, and we’d love for as many people to see the show as possible.
Company runs at the Holly from May 4th-6th, 12th-13th, and 18th-20th. Tickets are $22.00 for adults, $14.00 for students and are available at http://www.hollytheater.com/company.html or can be purchased at The Historic Holly Theatre (Dahlonega) box office.
–Jody Key: Speakeysie contributor and editor