Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

A Little Night Music

a little night music by stephen sondheim at light opera works
A Little Night Music

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Directed & Choreographed by Rudy Hogenmiller

Produced by Light Opera Works

At Cahn Auditorium

Elegant and stylish production of A Little Night Music is wonderful!

Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 musical–operetta really–A Little Night Music won 6 Tony Awards yet it only played Broadway for 601 performances! With a smart, witty book and biting dialogue by Hugh Wheeler, A Little Night Music contains a lush, romantic waltz-time score by Sondheim.  Director Rudy Hogenmiller has cast superb voices to sing Sondheim’s romantic lyrics.  A Little Night Music is a work of theatrical art that appeals to operetta lovers and pure romantics.

Based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, the play is set in Sweden at the turn of the century. It opens with the Liebeslieder Singers (Brian-Alwyn Newland, Rebecca Caliendo, Sara Stern, Paul W. Thompson, Julia Black) give us hints by singing numbers that will be done throughout the show.  They give us a glimpse of the fine singing to come.

We meet Madame Armfeldt (Jody Goldman) tells her grand daughter Fredika (Amanda Hays) that the summer night “smiles” three times: first on the young, second on fools, and third on the old. Fredrika vows to try and watch the smiles occur. Next, comes Fredril Egerman (Larry Adams), a middle aged lawyer and his trophy wife–the 18 year old and still virgin Anne (Natalie Ford) with Henrik Egerman (Mike Reckling)–the son who struggles with religion and lust.

Add Desiree Armsfeldt (Catherine Lord)–the middle aged actress and former lover of Fredrik now involved with Copunt Carl-Magnus Malcolm (Michael Cavalieri) and a renewed romance insues.  The story is about finding lost love, rekindling romance and passion.

The costumes (by Jeff Hendry) on Nick Mozak’s fine set with Andrew Meyer’s lighting give a sensual atmosphere to a long Swedish summer night in the country. Sondheim’s eloquent score contains songs luke “Remember,” “The Glamorous Life,” “A Weekend in the Country” and the signature tune “Send in the Clowns.”  Larry Adams, Natalie Ford, Judy Goldman and Michael Cavalieri easily nailed their songs with aplomb. I especially enjoyed the honest performance by Mike Reckling as young Henrik. Reckling is a fine actor with a strong voice. Megan Long , as Petra, delivers “The Miller’s Son” in a movingly emotional tone.

Roger L. Bingaman has his 28 piece orchestra sounding heavenly. Light Opera Work’s swift, expertly sung production contains a sweet and romantic operetta that Sondheim would most strongly approve. Come see a beautiful flawless production of the artful musical–A Little Night Music.  This is a wonderful date show. Hurry, there are only 3 performances remanding.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston,IL, call 847-869-6300, tickets $30 – $88, Friday, June 12 at 8 pm, Saturday, June 13 at 8 pm, Sunday, June 14 at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 55 minutes with intermission, through June 14, 2009

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