I have a bit of personal history with Stephen Sondheim's sumptuous musical, "A Little Night Music." When the original production ran on Broadway in the early '70's, I was living in Minnesota, but knew that I would be passing through NYC. So, I procured two tickets and planned very carefully my itinerary from the Twin Cities to Boston by way of The Great White Way. I left a buffer of several hours to give us time to arrive in New York, park our car and trailer somewhere and make the curtain with time to spare. Inclement weather and accidents threw our original schedule into a cocked hat, and we pulled into Midtown about an hour after the curtain. We could not find a place to stash our car and trailer, and were not even able to catch the second act. So, I have been waiting more than forty years to see this play performed live.
The Huntington Theatre's current production of "A Little Night Music" was well worth waiting four decades for! I love the fact that Director Peter DuBois chose to fill the cast with both New York actors and some of Boston's finest local talent. Boston audiences will recognize the faces of Aimee Doherty, Bobbie Steinbach, Sam Simahk, McCaela Donovan, Andrew O'Shanick, Sarah Oakes Muirhead, Nick Sulfaro and Patrick Varner. Current Boston Conservatory student Morgan Kirner stars in the role of Anne and her fellow BoCo student, Pablo Torres portrays her step-son, Henrik Egerman. Their chemistry together on stage is a highlight of this show.
The cast of
A Little Night Music. A Little Night Music
Though October 11, 2015,
Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson
As one has come to expect from any Huntington production, the scenic design by Derek McLane is spot on - serving as a variety of spaces within homes, dressing rooms and the country estate of the formidable Madame Armfeldt, played with wonderfully understated grace by Bobbie Steinbach. The cast move gracefully to the elegant choreography of Daniel Pelzig in Costumes that flow, designed by Robert Morgan. Lighting by Jeff Croiter and Sound by Jon Weston complete the staging, paving the way for a memorable weekend in the country in which lovers collude, collide and conspire.
If you know Sondheim's work, you know that several of his best known songs come from this show. In the wry and sardonic duet, "You Must Meet My Wife," leads Haydn Gwynne as Desiree and Stephen Bogardus as Fredrik shine as they verbally spar. His mistress, Desiree, is less than amused as he sings the praises of his young new wife, Anne. Ms. Gwynne is at her best in the iconic eleven o'clock number, "Send In The Clowns." Another highlight is McCaela Donovan's unforgettable rendition of the bawdy "The Miller's Son." She plays the eager maid Petra, and the sparks fly memorably between her and Frid, played by Sam Simahk and also between her and the young seminarian, Henrik Egerman, played by Pablo Torres.
Stephen Bogardus as Fredrik Egerman
Haydn Gwynne as Desiree Armfeldt
Through this weekend at the BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue.
Huntington Theatre Company Website