A Little Night Music Cast Album Gets Recorded Jan. 4

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04 Jan 2010

<I>A Little Night Music</I> star Catherine Zeta-Jones
A Little Night Music star Catherine Zeta-Jones
Photo by Joan Marcus

PS Classics and Nonesuch team up to record the new Broadway cast album of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, bringing the cast — including Angela Lansbury — into a Manhattan studio Jan. 4.

For the new recording, orchestrator Jason Carr has expanded the chamber-sized theatre orchestra of this Trevor Nunn-directed revival.

The production opened Dec. 13 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. A release date for the album has not been announced.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and five-time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury head the cast as Desiree and Madame Armfeldt, respectively. Sondheim and librettist Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music — the waltz-filled rumination on love — began previews Nov. 24.

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Tommy Krasker, who has produced 12 albums of Sondheim music for several labels, including his own PS Classics, which he co-founded with Philip Chaffin, produces the new recording.

This is the first Broadway revival of the acclaimed 1973 musical, suggested by the Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night." The production is inspired by Nunn's recent London production.

Zeta-Jones is making her Broadway debut in the role of Swedish actress Desirée Armfeldt opposite Lansbury as her wise mother 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, re-creates his work for New York audiences.

The cast features Aaron Lazar (Les Misérables) as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Erin Davie (Grey Gardens) as Countess Charlotte Malcolm, Leigh Ann Larkin (Gypsy) as Petra, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka as Henrik Egerman and Ramona Mallory (The Fantasticks) as Anne Egerman, with Stephen R. Buntrock, Bradley Dean, Katherine Leigh Doherty, Marissa McGowan, Betsy Morgan, Jayne Paterson, Kevin David Thomas, Keaton Whittaker, Karen Murphy, Erin Stewart and Kevin Vortmann.

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 is produced on Broadway Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, The Menier Chocolate Factory, Roger Berlind, David Babani, Sonia Friedman Productions, Andrew Fell, Daryl Roth/Jane Bergère, Harvey Weinstein/Raise the Roof 3, Beverly Bartner/Dancap Productions, Inc., Nica Burns/Max Weitzenhoffer, Eric Falkenstein/Anna Czekaj, Jerry Frankel/Ronald Frankel, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer.

Zeta-Jones won an Academy Award for her performance in "Chicago" and has appeared in "Traffic," "High Fidelity" "The Mask of Zorro" and "Entrapment." Lansbury won Tony Awards for her work in Blithe Spirit, Mame, Dear World, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. She was also nominated for Deuce.

For more information, visit nightmusiconbroadway.com.

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Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s previous Nonesuch recordings include Into the Woods (2002), The Frogs / Evening Primrose (2001), Saturday Night (2000), Bounce (2004), Sweeney Todd (Broadway production, 2006; motion picture soundtrack, 2007).

His previous PS Classics recordings include the Broadway premieres of Assassins (2004) and The Frogs (2005), the London revival of Sunday in the Park With George (2006), and two discs devoted to his private demo recordings, "Sondheim Sings." PS Classics and Nonesuch have previously collaborated on cast recordings of Company (2007) and Road Show (2009).