Monday, May 10, 2010

A Little Bit of Broadway

A Little Night Music
2010 revivial

The Tony Award nominations were announced last Tuesday and, as per our custom, we will listen to as many of them as we can get our hands on between now and the awards show on June 13th.

Best Musical nominations went to:
American Idiot
Fela!
Memphis
Million Dollar Quartet

Best revival of a musical nominees are
Finian's Rainbow
La Cage aux Folles
A Little Night Music
Ragtime

Not all shows have cast recordings, but we’ll listen to as many as we can.

Today, we’ll start of with the first Broadway revival of my second all-time favorite Broadway show. Stephen Sondheim based A Little Night Music on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night. It evolves around 3 families and surprising liaisons and long simmering passions. I’ve loved this show since I first heard the cast recording in 1973, then first saw it in Pittsburgh with Dixie Carter as Desiree. Being in the cast of Juneau Lyric Opera's production is certainly a highlight of my singing life.

For a show that was nominated for 12 tony’s and won 6, it’s amazing it has never had a major revival until now. The only reason I can think of is that it’s the only Sondheim show with a top 40 hit – Send in the clowns.


Nominated for 4 awards:

Best Revival of a Musical
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Angela Lansbury
Best Sound Design of a Musical: Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen

Music: Stephen Sondheim
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Book: Hugh Wheeler
Basis: 1955 Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night

We only have time to listen to Act 1 today.

Act 1
Overture — Mr. Lindquist, Mrs. Nordstrom, Mrs. Anderssen, Mr. Erlanson and Mrs. Segstrom (Quintet)
Night Waltz — Company
Now — Fredrik Egerman
Later — Henrik Egerman
Soon — Anne Egerman
Now/Later/Soon — Anne Egerman, Frederik Egerman and Henrik Egerman
The Glamorous Life — Fredrika Armfeldt, Desiree Armfeldt, Madame Armfeldt and Quintet
Remember? — Quintet
You Must Meet My Wife — Desiree Armfeldt and Fredrik Egerman
Liaisons — Madame Armfeldt
In Praise of Women — Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
Every Day a Little Death — Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Anne Egerman
Weekend in the Country — Company

Revival cast
Alexander Hanson :Frederik Egerman
Angela Lansbury :Madame Armfeldt
Catherine Zeta-Jones Broadway Debut :Desiree Armfeldt
Erin Davie :Countess Charlotte Malcolm
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka :Henrik Egerman
Leigh Ann Larkin :Petra
Aaron Lazar :Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
Ramona Mallory :Anne Egerman
Stephen R. Buntrock :Mr. Lindquist
Bradley Dean :Frid
Katherine Leigh Doherty :Fredrika Armfeldt
Marissa McGowan :Mrs. Anderssen
Betsy Morgan :Mrs. Segstrom
Jayne Paterson :Mrs. Nordstrom
Kevin David Thomas :Mr. Erlanson
Keaton Whittaker :Fredrika Armfeldt

Perhaps the best the part of the casting is that Ramona Mallory, who plays the ingénue, is the daughter of Victoria Mallory, who originated the role. You can listen to the NPR story here.

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