HOUSTON -- Houston Grand Opera has announced Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music as part of its 1998-99 season. The Tony Award-winning musical about three couples who spend a weekend in the country sorting out who should love whom has never been performed at Houston Grand Opera.
It will be directed by Michael Leeds, who wrote the libretto and directed the Broadway musical Swinging on a Star. Off-Broadway, Leeds has directed and choreographed Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah: The Songs of Allan Sherman, Lypsinka: A Day in the Life, and Showing Off.
Other members of the creative team are also musical theater veterans: lighting designer Ken Billington, who has more than 70 Broadway productions to his credit, and set designer Kenneth Foy, whose work has been seen at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Goodspeed Opera House, to name just a few.
About selecting A Little Night Music, David Gockley, general director of Houston Grand Opera, said, "We're less interested in the nomenclature 'musical theater,' than we are with doing a good piece in a classy way. Sondheim calls A Little Night Music an 'operetta,' and we are approaching it in the same way we would approach a new Merry Widow."
Since taking over Houston Grand Opera 25 years ago, Gockley has occasionally mounted musicals, including Sondheim's Sweeney Todd during the 1983-84 season. Other include Porgy and Bess (1994-95), Annie Get Your Gun (1991-92), My Fair Lady (1990-91), Carousel (1989-90), , and Show Boat (1988-89). The first musical produced at Houston Grand Opera was Hello, Dolly! in 1997. Houston Grand Opera presents A Little Night Music January 29, 30, 31, and February 3, 6, 9, 12, and 14, 1999. For tickets and information, call (713) 546-0246 or (800) 346-4462.
-- By Peter Szatmary