Matt Doyle

Coat by Peter Do. Vintage shirt by Jil Sander from the Albright Fashion Library.

Live from New York: Matt Doyle

The late Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical Company opens with the song "Company" and crescendoes with "Being Alive," both things richly deserving of celebration after the last two years. The new Broadway revival—which shut down with the rest of the industry in March 2020 after nine previews—updates the story of a New York bachelor hounded by questions of marriage on his thirty-fifth birthday with a gender reversal, replacing Bobby with Bobbie, now played by Katrina Lenk. After finally opening in December, it offers a vibrant example of the right show coming along at just the right time. "They always told us that they believed fully that Company needed to be here when Broadway came back," says Matt Doyle, one of the show's stars, of the producers. "It's about togetherness, it's about New York City, it's about being alive. 'Alone is alone, not alive'"—a line from "Being Alive"—"is kind of what got us through every day as a cast and company. I think we knew that it was a really, really important story to tell."

As Jamie, Doyle inhabits one of the other notable revisions in the new production, taking the place of the marriage-averse Amy, who promises to be "floating in the Hudson with the other garbage" on her wedding day. Her intended, Paul, remains unchanged, and Doyle says that as a gay actor, having the opportunity to re-envision one of musical theater's most charged nuptials in a more inclusive light is a singular honor. "We're in a time now where gay marriage is legal, and it's thrilling but there's this question that I think a lot of gay couples are facing right now, which is, just because we can, should we?" he adds. "I'm beyond thrilled to step into such an iconic role and bring it into a new perspective. These are things that if you had told me when I was thirteen years old and struggling with my identity and trying to figure things out, I wouldn't have believed."

Coat by Peter Do. Vintage shirt by Jil Sander from the Albright Fashion Library.

Coat by Peter Do. Vintage shirt by Jil Sander from the Albright Fashion Library.

Like most performers, Doyle faced a lack of government assistance during the shutdown, relying on the devoted Broadway fanbase for support instead. "I can't believe that I was able to survive off of Cameo videos," he laughs. He was part of the cast of Breathe, one of the few new musicals to be produced (virtually) during this time, but it is only now, back onstage eight times a week, that he truly feels at home. "With every project that I did during this pandemic, there were so many conflicting emotions," he says. "It was gratitude because somebody was helping performers get out there and be seen and then it was also heartbreak because it wasn't what we do, filming a reading and throwing it together quickly and trying to give everything that we possibly can in a matter of hours. It was frightening and difficult and strange, so it's exciting and you're grateful, but at the same time it just makes you long for what we had before."

Company is now playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, New York. Read this story and many more in print by preordering our third issue here. See the full Live in New York series here.

Hair by Tina Outen at Streeters. Makeup by Andrew Colvin at Streeters. Set design by Jacob Burstein at MHS Artists. Photographer's assistant: Kyrre Kristoffersen. Stylist's assistants: Maria Montane and Malén Denis. Hairstylist's assistant: Amesha Alston. Makeup artist's assistant: Crisdanil Hidalgo. Set designer's assistant: Casilda Garcia Lopez. Digital technician: Leslie Knott. Production by Heather Robbins at CLM.

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