Holy Cross Theatre Premieres Musical Company

Michael Vail ‘24

Renowned Critic

I don’t like ThinkPads.

The Lenovo ThinkPad is a laptop model that—upon first glance—has a feature you simply can’t miss. Appearing to be some sort of red button, this aesthetic abomination is actually a joystick with multidirectional navigation functions. It’s supposed to be a convenient alternative to the trackpad, but while that may be true, that doesn’t change what it primarily appears to be: an aesthetic abomination. The joystick presents itself right in the middle of the keyboard, awkwardly wedged between the ‘G,’ ‘H,’ and ‘B’ keys, cutting off a portion of each key to make room for itself. At that point, you might as well either buy a cheap, wireless mouse or suffer the minor inconvenience of needing to move your hand two inches down to the touchpad.

Unlike the TrackPoint, as it was officially named, Company‘s protagonist is much admired by those around him. The musical is centered around Robert “Bobby” Baby (or maybe Robert “Bobby” Darling; the characters frequently disagreed on his true last name, despite knowing him for several years. I don’t know whether I should be so bold to call this the first plot hole, as it may be a creative liberty with a deeper meaning. The playbook only refers to him as “Bobby,” which suggests Director Meaghan Deiter’s unwillingness to address the issue). However, in great similarity to the TrackPoint, Bobby is lacking in important qualities that would allow him to find his “special someone.” His loneliness stands out like a bad metaphor.

The set of Company is rather unique. There are some moving parts, but the most prominent structure is a large, unmoving, heightened walkway with a set of stairs leading up to it on each side of the stage. In many of the songs, while Bobby sits alone on his couch, the rest of the cast sings to him from above. This layout suggests one of two realities: all of Bobby’s friends live in his attic, or all of Bobby’s friends are dead and singing to him from heaven. The latter option seems implausible to me, as the rest of the plot indicates that the characters are very much alive. One could argue that the entire story exists in Bobby’s imagination because he suffers from schizophrenia, but that is a bit of a stretch. However, if Bobby’s friends are all married and financially independent, why would they need to live in his attic? I am tempted to dub this confusion a plot hole, but I am hesitant as it may be a creative liberty with a deeper meaning.

One song in particular I enjoyed was “Barcelona,” a blatantly clear social commentary on how flight attendants have unfair privileges that the common citizen does not have. If April is really such a busy flight attendant, how does she have the time to go gallivanting around Europe? Not only Barcelona, but Madrid, too? Are her working hours really that short, and why does she wait so long to decide to stay with Bobby if she has so much free time? Is Bobby really her priority? I have no theories to answer these questions. This might certainly be a plot hole, if not for the probability that it may be a creative liberty with a deeper meaning.

In conclusion, the TrackPoint might have been innovative for its time, but its continual implementation in modern day ThinkPads is a mistake.

Photo courtesy of HC Theatre

Categories: Eggplant

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