Following an acclaimed season at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Stephen Sondheim’s glorious musical masterpiece A Little Night Music will play the National Theatre Melbourne this week before heading to the Whitehorse Centre in March.
It is midsummer in Sweden. On a magical night that smiles three times, an ageing actress, a married virgin, a sex-starved divinity student and a buffoonish count are drawn into a tangled and hilarious web of love affairs. Featuring a lush score including A Weekend in the Country, Liaisons, The Miller’s Son and possibly the best known Sondheim ballad, Send in the Clowns – A Little Night Music is a romantic tour-de-force.
Under the watchful eye of director, Nicholas Cannon, leading Australian actors Nadine Garner, John O’May, Jackie Rees and Eddie Muliaumaseali’i headline a stellar ensemble cast including Carina Waye, Nelson Gardner, Johanna Allen, Grace O-Donnell-Clancy, Adrian Barila, Anna Francesca Armenia, Kate Louise Macfarlane, Greta Wilkinson, Kerrie Bolton, Raphael Wong.
“What I love about this show is the slightly odd collection of characters and the tension between their public faces and their more unruly, comfortable realities or desires,” says Cannon. “So although it’s set at the turn of the last century, there’s an immediate parallel with our own time and how we curate our lives for public consumption via social media. It’s also incredibly witty.”
Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music features a book by Hugh Wheeler with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. With direction by legendary theatre director, Harold Prince, the musical premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in February 1973, before transferring to the Majestic Theatre in September. The musical made its West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in April 1975.
The first international production opened at Sydney’s Her Majesty’s Theatre in November 1973. Produced by J. C. Williamson and directed by George Martin, the cast included Bruce Barry, Doris Fitton, Jill Perryman, Geraldine Turner and John Wood. Australian Revivals have included Sydney Theatre Company (1990); Melbourne Theatre Company (1997); and Opera Australia (2009).
Director: Nicholas Cannon Featuring: Nadine Garner, John O’May, Carina Waye, Nelson Gardner, Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, Johanna Allen, Jackie Rees, Grace O-Donnell-Clancy, Adrian Barila, Anna Francesca Armenia, Kate Louise Macfarlane, Greta Wilkinson, Kerrie Bolton, Raphael Wong Musical Director: Daniele Buatti Choreographer: Michael Ralph Set Designer: Christina Logan Bell Costume Designer: Emily Collett Lighting Designer: Rob Sowinski
A Little Night Music
The National Theatre Melbourne, 20 Carlisle Street, St. Kilda
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: Nadine Garner and Carina Waye feature in A Little Night Music – photo by Jodie Hutchinson