Considered one of Stephen Sondheim’s most accessible and luscious works, A Little Night Music will be presented by The University of Sydney Musical Theatre Ensemble (MUSE) at the Seymour Centre for a limited season from 25 March.
Based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music is a glimpse into the shadowy, illusory world of romance, with little basis in reality. The characters are in perpetual motion, exchanging partners at will, with no profound alteration.
Set at the turn of the last century, A Little Night Music interweaves a tangled web of former and current lovers among the upper crust elite of Sweden. Esteemed lawyer Fredrik Egerman has recently married a young virgin, Anne, whom his son, Henrik, has also fallen madly in love.
Fredrik’s dedication to his blushing bride is tested when he reunites with a former flame, the famed (and fading) actress Desiree Armfeldt. Things grow more complicated when her jealous (and married) lover Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm gets wind of the reunion.
The coupling and uncoupling comes to a head when Desirée convinces her mother to host Fredrik and his family for a weekend on her lavish country estate – and the Count, with wife in tow, crashes the party.
Book writer, Hugh Wheeler, recreates from the Bergman original a world in which the mystical influence of the night’s smile hovers over all. The action of the piece is delineated in the three smiles of the summer night; “smiles at the young who know nothing, at the fools who know too little and at the old who know too much.”
Winner of Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score, A Little Night Music has been revived eight times both on Broadway and the West End, with a film adaption starring Elizabeth Taylor. It is best remembered for the bitterly poignant Send in the Clowns – a song that reflects the ironies and disappointments of life.
Produced by Rose McClelland, A Little Night Music will be directed by Alexander Andrews, musical direction by Conrad Hamill, with choreography Brittany Doyle. The production marks MUSE’s ninth year of theatre making. The society offers university students the opportunity to create, perform in and learn about performance in addition to their academic studies. Students rehearse in their free time and are solely responsible for every aspect of performance, from production to design to marketing.
A Little Night Music
Seymour Centre, Corner City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale
Season: 25 – 28 March 2015
Bookings: (02) 9351 7940 or online at: www.seymourcentre.com
For more information, visit: www.museatusyd.com for details.
Image: courtesy of The University of Sydney Musical Theatre Ensemble (MUSE)