Hayley Mills, Claire Bloom and Robert Cuccioli will explore the intricacies of love in Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music, playing Seattle's Fifth Avenue Theatre Sept. 18-Oct. 14. The co-production with the city's A Contemporary Theatre will be directed by Fifth Avenue Theatre Company producing artistic director David Armstrong.
Mills, who stars as the well-loved and oft-loved actress Desiree Armfeldt, was best known as a child actress ("Pollyana," "The Parent Trap," "Whistle Down the Wind"), although she made her U.S. stage debut in 1997 at the Fifth Avenue in The King and I and her Off-Broadway debut in 2000 in Noel Coward's Suite in Two Keys. Bloom, who plays Mills' ancient mother Madame Armfeldt, was recently Tony-nominated as Clytemnestra in Electra and has played the classics including A Streetcar Named Desire, A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler. Cuccioli, playing the arrogant Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, garnered several New York theatre citations for the dual role of Jekyll & Hyde. Since then, he has gone on to star in Enter the Guardsman, Funny Girl and The Pajama Game at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Joining the three in the cast will be Seattle's Stephen Godwin as Fredrik Egerman, Suzanne Bouchard as Countess Charlotte Malcolm, Laura Griffith (Dinner at Eight) as Anne Egerman, Tim Martin Gleason (The Rhythm Club) as Henrick Egerman, Kendra Kassebaum (Rent) as Petra, Cara Rudd as Fredrika Armfeldt and David Quicksall as Frid. The liebeslieders are Eric Jensen, Victoria Rose Gydov, Mary Jo DuGaw, Aaron Shanks and Beth Zumann.
Based on the Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night," A Little Night Music contains Sondheim's best-known song, "Send in the Clowns." It is the story of improperly matched lovers, from the middle aged lawyer and his young wife to the aging actress and her pompous count, and how they come to realize with whom they truly belong. The score also includes "A Weekend in the Country," "Liasons," "Every Day a Little Death" and "The Miller's Son."
A Little Night Music, a first-time collaboration between the Fifth Avenue and A Contemporary Theatre, will be played in the Fifth Avenue Theatre, but features the design staff of ACT. Nancy Thun will create the sets with costumes by Candice Donnelly, lighting by Chris Parry and sound by Beth Berkeley. Tickets go on sale Aug. 12. For reservations, call (206) 292-ARTS. The Fifth Avenue Theatre is located at 13-08 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
— By Christine Ehren