Donna McKechnie, a veteran of Stephen Sondheim musicals Company (on Broadway) and Follies (at the Paper Mill Playhouse) will summon clowns in the North Shore Music Theatre revival of the European-flavored A Little Night Music, Sept. 5-24.
NSMT is the Beverly, MA, theatre devoted to musicals, presenting works in the round.
McKechnie, once a slinky 1960s Broadway chorine (How to Succeed in Business) and eventual standout in Company and A Chorus Line, has now seasoned into a mature leading lady, off stage and on: Desiree is an actress on a tour of Swedish cities in Act One of Night Music. She will sing "Send in the Clowns" in the rueful Hugh Wheeler-Stephen Sondheim musical from 1973, drawn from Ingmar Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night."
Desiree's mother, Mme. Armfeldt, will be played by Merle Louise, the original Beggar Woman from Broadway's Sweeney Todd.
The company, under the direction of Barry Ivan, also includes Diana Canova, Chuck Wagner, Jeff McCarthy and Sarah Uriarte Berry. Tony Geralis will be music director.
-- By Kenneth Jones