Playbill On-Line first broke the news that Close was gearing up for Night Music on April 26, when the Tony winner told PBOL that her next stage stint would be the 1973 musical, which she saw coming together two years down the road. The actress has been contemplating the project for years. In early 1999, Close seemed set for a new production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, saying she would star in the piece on Broadway in the fall of that year.
That production, which was to have been produced by Margo Lion, Fred Zollo, Nick Paleologis and Jujamcyn Theatres, never came to fruition.
Close's theatre credits include Sunset Boulevard, Death and the Maiden and The Real Thing. She won a Tony Award for all three performances. She was also in Broadway's Barnum.
A Little Night Music, with music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, first opened Feb. 25, 1973, and stands out as one of the composer's few commercial successes—601 performances at the Shubert Theatre.
The musical is based on Ingmar Bergman's 1955 film "Smiles of a Summer Night," about a group of lovers whose lives intersect during a weekend at a country estate. Its score includes what may be Sondheim's best-known song, "Send in the Clowns." The original cast featured Glynis Johns and Len Cariou and was directed by Harold Prince.
A major revival of Night Music was staged at New York City Opera in the early '90s. The production helped launch the career of director Scott Ellis. More recently, the Kennedy Center mounted the show as part of their 2002 Sondheim Celebration. A 2003 New York City Opera revival starred Jeremy Irons and Juliet Stevenson.