May is a mad month. A month of random musings about various topics related to musical theatre. Feel free to share your thoughts on each topic in the comment box below.
Is Bobby Gay?
Stephen Sondheim says no. Arthur Laurents says yes – even though it’s George Furth’s book, not his. Some people say it doesn’t matter. But of course it matters.
Company isn’t a coming out story. If it were, the show wouldn’t be focused on Bobby’s observations on the marriages of his friends, it would be focused on something else. If Bobby is avoiding making a commitment to one of the women in his life because he’s gay – put otherwise, simply because he’d rather be in a relationship with a man – then the point of the show is moot. Bobby is afraid of the idea of commitment, of losing himself within the dynamic of marriage. That’s why he doesn’t commit to one of the many women in his life, not because he’s gay. If being gay was the reason for Bobby’s reluctance to marry a woman, then we’d have a different play on our hands. Unless we also saw him struggling with the idea of commitment within a male-male relationship too, the show would not be able to make the meaning it was intended to make – and there simply isn’t enough in the text as written to support that kind of a reading.
So, no, Bobby is not gay.
Where do you stand on the issue? Offer your opinions in the comment box, please!