Theater Opening: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Greenway Court)

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by Nia Liat on January 12, 2022

in Theater-Los Angeles


Some 50 years after its birth, A Little Night Music feels like it’s always been here. Wisely and warmly, composer Stephen Sondheim and writer Hugh Wheeler compassionately anatomize three mismatched turn-of-the-century couples. They’re midsummer fools of love caught in the spell of one of Sweden’s languorous “white” nights.

A limited engagement — directed by Ryan O’Connor with musical direction by Anthony Zediker — opens February 4, with a run through Sunday, March 13, 2022 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. This new offering by Knot Free Productions will look at what it means to present gender on stage in the American musical theatre in 2022, with some fresh takes on several of the classic roles in the show (Ty Deran (Kinky Boots, Home Street Home, 101 Dalmatians) will play Anne Egerman, and queer activist and LA favorite Amanda Kruger (A League of Their Own, Glass Ceilings) will play Henrik Egerman). It’s an intriguing idea, but if nothing else come to celebrate the life of Sondheim, who left us last November 26.

Get ready for the wit, sophistication, and gentle eroticism of this most worldly and elegant of American musicals. The story is worldly, charming, and rueful — emotions eloquently displayed by Sondheim’s score, and abetted by Wheeler’s astounding book. A Little Night Music is an adaptation of the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, a droll story of sexual musical chairs among the middle- and lower-classes in provincial Sweden at the turn of the last century. Three generations of characters assemble and reassemble romantic relationships until everyone is reasonably paired up at the end. But along the way there are shouting matches, tears, trysts, and even a game of Russian roulette.

Sondheim conveys this complex sexual merry-go-round with some of his most brilliant, exquisite, stunning and mind-bogglingly clever lyrics which elucidate character even as they move the plot forward. The only hit to come out of the score is “Send in the Clowns” (whose international popularity mystified the composer), but his graceful quasi-operetta is a continuous flow of comic, wise, dramatic, and romantic songs. Those who are hearing this work for the first time will be rightfully dazzled by his sumptuous use of ¾ waltz time, polyphony and counterpoint. Tony’s were handed out for score, book and best musical in 1973. Since that time the show has enjoyed professional productions all over the world and was revived on Broadway in 2009.

The cast also features (in alphabetical order) Lux Amaya (Alternate), Zoe Bright (Madame Armfeldt), Peyton Crim (Fredrik Egerman), Tal Fox (Nordstrom), Andrea Lara (Anderssen), Roni Paige (Segstrom/Frid), Meredith Pyle (Linquist), Emma Rose (Fredrika Armfeldt), Alexa Rosengaus (Petra), Christopher Robert Smith (Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm), Dekontee Tucrkile (Erlansen), Catherine Wadkins (Desiree Armfeldt), and Sarah Wolter (Charlotte Malcolm).

Set design is by EK Dagenfield, lighting design is by Donny Jackson, sound design is by Mia Glenn-Schuster, and costume design is by Michael Mullen. Assistant director is Elana Luo, assistant music director is Matthew Tong, properties designer is Jenine MacDonald, and stage manager is Natalie Jackson. The casting director is Tal Fox .

A Little Night Music
Knot Free Productions
Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90036.
Free parking available in lot adjacent to the theatre
February 4 – March 13, 2022
Fri and Sat at 8; Sun at 7
for tickets ($45 – $60), call (323) 673-0544 or visit Little Night

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