Irene Worth will serve as Narrator and play Mme. Armfeldt in a concert staging of A Little Night Music to be held July 11-12 at Philadelphia's Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Part of the PNC Concert Series with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the evenings will also feature Michele Pawk as Desiree, Marc Kudisch as her paramour, Carl Magnus; John Dossett as Fredrik, Kevin Anderson as his son, Henrik; and Jonathan Dokuchitz as Frid the butler.
Tony-winning musical director Paul Gemignani will conduct the score, which will include two numbers cut/re-worked prior to Night Music's 1973 Broadway opening. Dokuchitz, of Tommy and Aspects of Love note, will get to sing the cut song "Silly People"; and the company will do an expanded version of "The Glamorous Life," cobbled together from the original version and the one used in the 1976 "Night Music" movie. The entire score is essentially in waltz time, including perhaps composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim's most famous song, "Send in the Clowns."
Conductor Gemignani and BT McNicholl are co-conceiving the concert into a "narrated adaptation," with Sondheim serving as consultant. Hugh Wheeler's book was based on Ingmar Bergman's 1956 comedy, "Smiles of a Summer Night," which told of upper-class romantic shenanigan — just on the verge of tragedy — at a country estate.
Also in the cast of the Night Music concert are Siri Howard, Angela Gaylor, Derin Altay, Angela Robinson, Tom Baust, Laura Heimes, Tim McShea, Evelyn Santiago Schulz and Karen Slack.
Ranked high among the greatest living musical-theatre composers, Sondheim's other works include Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Assassins, which will have its Broadway premiere this year. For tickets and information on the A Little Night Music concert at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, call (215) 893-3136.
— By David Lefkowitz