A Little Night Music is a little quaint, often funny, and thoroughly entertaining show. To be sure, the design has limitations. Trying to hide the fact shows are sometimes run on the smell of an oily rag can be a hazardous choice. However, for the most part things are kept simple here and the performances rarely fail to delight.
Playing Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Eddie Muliaumaseali’i was as beautiful as in any of his performances with Melbourne Opera. The audience are much closer here, though, which helped lend his voice an intimacy that’s harder to travel in other venues.
Carina Waye was bewitching in the role of the naïve-ish Anne, doing well to ground her effervescence in something exuberant but believable. Channelling the best subplots of Downton Abbey, Anna Francesca Armenia was superb as Petra – maid as well as mistress of the Master’s son, Henrik, played by Nelson Garner.
Sondheim never does things simple aurally, either in the cast’s fantastic vocals or the band’s musicianship Night Music flits and plays around with harmony, offering up sonic conflicts that build and resolve themselves in a fairly compelling manner.
Moments where scenes don’t work as well as others are still lifted off the page brilliantly by the calibre and comedy of the performances, making you rue A Little Night Music doesn’t last a little longer.
A Little Night Music
The National Theatre Melbourne, 20 Carlisle Street, St. Kilda
Performance: Friday 2 March 2018
Season: 28 February – 3 March 2018
Whitehorse Centre, 397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading
Season: 9 – 10 March 2018
For more information, visit: www.watchthis.net.au for details.
Image: Eddie Muliaumaseali’i and Johanna Allen in A Little Night Music – photo by Jodie Hutchinson
Review: David Collins