By Andrew Gans
22 Sep 2009
|Photo by Aubrey Reuben|
Directed by Tony Award winner Trevor Nunn, the first-ever Broadway revival of the acclaimed musical — which gave the world the Sondheim classic "Send in the Clowns" — will begin previews Nov. 24 at the Walter Kerr Theatre with an official opening scheduled for Dec. 13.
Zeta-Jones, who will be making her Broadway debut, will play the role of Desirée Armfeldt with Broadway favorite Lansbury as Madame Armfeldt.
Olivier Award nominee Alexander Hanson, who played the role of Fredrik Egerman in the Nunn-directed production of Night Music at London's Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End, will re-create his work for New York audiences.
In a statement Zeta-Jones said, "I'm honored that Trevor Nunn and Stephen Sondheim asked me to make my Broadway debut in this beautiful production. I look forward to starting rehearsal with this extraordinary group of people and working with the incomparable Angela Lansbury, whose work I've long admired." Lansbury added, "The circle is complete. I'm back singing the beautiful music of Stephen Sondheim, and working with a lovely young actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones!"
Based on Ingmar Bergman's film "Smiles of a Summer Night," A Little Night Music, according to press notes, "is set in a weekend country house in turn of the century Sweden, bringing together surprising liaisons, long simmering passions and a taste of love's endless possibilities. Hailed as witty and wildly romantic, the story centers on the elegant actress Desirée Armfeldt and the spider's web of sensuality, intrigue and desire that surrounds her."
The creative team includes Lynne Page (choreography), Caroline Humphris (musical supervision), David Farley (set and costume design), Hartley T A Kemp (lighting design), Dan Moses Shreier and Gareth Owen (sound design), Paul Huntley (wig design), Jason Carr (orchestrations) and Tom Murray (musical direction).
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."
Nunn's production debuted to critical acclaim at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in November 2008 and subsequently transferred to the West End where it played a limited engagement through July 25, 2009, at the Garrick Theatre.
The Night Music revival will be produced on Broadway by Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, the Menier Chocolate Factory, Roger Berlind, David Babani, Andrew Fell and Sonia Friedman Productions.
Catherine Zeta-Jones won an Academy Award for her performance in "Chicago." Angela Lansbury won Tonys for her work in Blithe Spirit (2009), Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd (1979). She was nominated as Best Leading Actress in a Play in 2007 for Deuce.
Tickets will be available beginning Sept. 30 for American Express Cardmembers and will go on sale to the general public Oct. 17. The Walter Kerr Theatre box office (219 West 48th Street) will open Oct. 19 Tickets will be available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting Telecharge.com.