Honoring Stephen Sondheim’s 75th birthday, CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center will present A Little Night Music, January 19 through February 5.The Tony Award-winning show is one of Sondheim’s most charming and romantic, featuring the hit song, “Send in the Clowns,” a rich musical score done entirely in waltz tempo, stunning turn-of-the-20th century costumes, and the magical lighting of a Scandinavian summer night when the sun never sets.
CenterStage’s production of A Little Night Music brings together a veteran cast of actors to tell the tale of three couples comically mismatched and re-matched over the course of a weekend at an elegant mansion in the Swedish countryside. Desiree Armfeldt, played by CenterStage and Derby Dinner Playhouse veteran Collette Delaney, is an aging but still beautiful actress tiring of her soldier lover, Count Carl-Magnus (Rusty Henle), who is married to the long suffering Countess Charlotte (Jamie Tobelmann). Russ Dunlap, who played Don Quixote in CenterStage’s recent gripping production of Man of La Mancha, portrays Fredrik Egerman, married to the still virginal Anne (Emily Fields), who, unbeknownst to all, is the object of infatuation of Fredrik’s grown and equally frustrated son, Henrik (Kyle Braun).
When Desiree and Fredrik attempt to rekindle their former romance, champagne corks pop and sparks fly as the lives of the three couples become intertwined over a weekend at the chateau of Desiree’s mother, the sharp-tongued, droll Madame Armfeldt (Barbara Myerson Katz). Rounding out the ensemble cast are Lauren McCombs (Audrey in CenterStage’s recent Little Shop of Horrors) as Anne’s lusty and impetuous maid, Petra; YPAS sophomore Peyton Evans as Desiree’s daughter, Fredrika; and a quintet of singers who narrate the romantic romp in glorious harmony–Christy Hanley Shircliff, Tymika Prince, Margo Wooldrige, Cory Vaughn and Jeff Sammons.
CenterStage is not the only theater company bringing a little music to the night. The show returned to its Tony Award-winning ways with a revival on Broadway in 2009 that featured Catherine Zeta-Jones as Desiree and Angela Lansbury as Madame Armfeldt. A 1977 movie version featured Diana Rigg and the late Elizabeth Taylor.
“I had the pleasure to see the most recent revival on Broadway and immediately thought it to be a perfect show for CenterStage,” says CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert. “The characters are rich and complex, the libretto is smart and funny and the music is lush and breathtaking. It is a perfect challenge for our actors and I knew our audience would love it.”
Tickets are $18 per person. Based on availability, there will be 20 $10 rush tickets sold for weeknight performances. Rush tickets must be purchased in person at the Jewish Community Center on the day of show prior to 5 p.m. For information and ticket reservations, call 459-0660.