Taking Over for Benanti, Paice Joins Roundabout Night Music Concert

News   Taking Over for Benanti, Paice Joins Roundabout Night Music Concert Under the advice of her doctor, Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti has to withdraw from the gala concert of A Little Night Music Jan. 12 in Manhattan.

Jill Paice
Jill Paice

Jill Paice of London and Broadway's The Woman in White and Broadway's Curtains will play the role Anne in the benefit for Roundabout Theatre Company, at Studio 54.

Benanti (who plays Gypsy Rose Lee n Broadway's Gypsy) has a throat infection "that would be aggravated by adding rehearsals and a performance of A Little Night Music to her final eight-performance schedule of Gypsy," according to a statement released Jan. 5. Gypsy closes Jan. 11.

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The Roundabout Theatre Company's gala concert reading of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Tony Award-winning A Little Night Music will be directed by Scott Ellis (She Loves Me, 1776, Curtains).

The 7:30 PM performance will boast the previously reported Natasha Richardson (Desirée Armfeldt), Victor Garber (Frederick Egerman), Christine Baranski (Countess Charlotte Malcolm), Marc Kudisch (Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm), Vanessa Redgrave (Madame Armfeldt), Steven Pasquale (Henrik Egerman), Kendra Kassebaum (Petra), Alexandra Socha (Fredrika), Maija Lisa Currie (Mrs. Nordstrom), Steven Goldstein (Mr. Erlandson), Leena Chopra (Mrs. Segestrom), Julianne Borg (Mrs. Anderssen) and Philip Cokorinos (Mr. Lindquist). Musical director Paul Gemignani will lead a 27-member orchestra with orchestrations penned by Jonathan Tunick.

The design team includes Derek McLane (sets), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Steve Kennedy (sound).

A Little Night Music, according to press notes, "follows three lovestruck couples as they lose — and find — each other during a long midsummer night on a country estate."

A Little Night Music — featuring a score by Sondheim and a book by Wheeler — originally opened at Broadway's Shubert Theatre on Feb. 25, 1973, with a cast that included Glynis Johns as Desiree, Len Cariou as Fredrik and Hermione Gingold as Madame Armfeldt. The show, directed by Harold Prince, garnered five 1973 Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical. The Sondheim score features the composer's best-known tune, "Send in the Clowns," as well as "Every Day a Little Death," "The Miller's Son" and "A Weekend in the Country."

Proceeds will benefit the not-for-profit Roundabout Theatre Company.

Tickets, priced $250-$2,500, are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or by visiting www.roundabouttheatre.org. (Premium and reception tickets include an exclusive cast party following the performance.)

Studio 54 is located in Manhattan at 254 West 54th Street.