The sun sits low and the music is in three-quarter time at Goodspeed Opera House Oct. 19, when Darko Tresnjak's staging of the stylish and rueful musical comedy, A Little Night Music, opens.
The cast of Goodspeed Musicals' revival of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler hit includes M'el Dowd as Madame Armfeldt, John Herrera as Fredrik and Leslie Denniston as Desiree. Tresnjak's staging began previews Sept. 28 and continues to Dec. 16. The cast features Nora Blackall as Fredrika, Joe Farrell as Henrik, Kristin Huxhold as Anne, Lisa Brescia as Petra, Brad Little as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm and Amanda Naughton as Countess Charlotte Malcolm.
The rarified 1973 tuner has a score in variations of three-quarter time, as lovers circle one another and ruminate about the foolishness of love during a "weekend in the country." An aging actress reunites with her former flame (a lawyer), upsetting her dragoon of a lover and his salty wife. Meanwhile, the lawyer's virginal wife draws the eye of his son, a divinity student. The musical is based on Ingmar Bergman's starkly comic film, "Smiles of a Summer Night," and is set in Sweden circa 1910.
The cast also includes T. Doyle Leverett as Mr. Lindquist, Stephanie Lynge as Mrs. Nordstrom, Cristin J. Hubbard as Mrs. Anderson, Greg Roderick as Mr. Erlanson, Melanie Vaughan as Mrs. Segstrom, Jennifer Sharon Taylor as Osa, Matt Stokes as Frid and Jose Francisco as Bertrand. Little has played Raoul in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, Herrera appeared on Broadway in the recent 1776 revival and was Tony Award-nommed for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Naughton appeared on TV's "Remember WENN" and recently in Off-Broadway's Mr. President. Huxhold toured in Titanic and appeared in the Broadway ensemble of Les Miserables. Denniston appeared twice as Anna in the St. Louis Muny's The King and I, and in City of Angels on Broadway. Brescia appeared as a disciple in the recent Broadway Jesus Christ Superstar. M'el Dowd's Broadway credits include Camelot, Sweet Bird of Youth, Ambassador and Not Now Darling.
Director Tresnjak has worked in theatres and opera houses. Earlier this year, he directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at Long Wharf Theatre and previously at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Recent opera credits include the American premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night, La Traviata and The Flying Dutchman. Tresnjak grew up in Yugoslavia, the United States and Poland and is a recipient of an N.E.A. New Forms Grant, two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship from the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Choreographer Peggy Hickey is the recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography of Goodspeed's Brigadoon and On the Twentieth Century. She choreographed Beck's music video "New Pollution," winning an MTV Award, "The Brady Bunch Movie," and several episodes for ABC's daytime drama "General Hospital."
A Little Night Music won six Tony Awards in 1973, including Best Book and Best Score. The show memorably produced "Send in the Clowns."
The musical supervisor for A Little Night Music is Michael O'Flaherty, with musical direction and orchestration by Christopher Jahnke, sets by David Gordon, costumes by Linda Cho and lighting by Christopher Landy.
For information about Goodspeed Musicals, call (860) 873-8668.
Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, producing six musicals each season at two venues: the historic Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam and The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT (devoted to new and developing works). In addition to its onstage productions, Goodspeed also maintains the Library of Musical Theatre and publishes Show Music, The Musical Theatre Magazine.
— By Kenneth Jones