Broadway Features and Reviews
A Little Night Music: Isn't It Rich
By Caitlin Maggs, Broadway Magazine
A countryside weekend in Sweden has never been made so tempting. Loosely based on Bergman's iconic movie, 'Smiles of a Summer Night', the restoration of this uniquely sensual Swedish romance is mastered by none other than the theatre guru himself, Stephen Sondheim. 'A Little Night Music,' ironically named, is emotionally dense and packed full of superb twists and turns. The Broadway revival is currently playing, following a hit run in London. This reenergised Menier Chocolate Factory production promises not only to steel hearts, but also minds in this enigmatic modest musical that is soaring high above audience expectations.
19th Century Sweden plays host to where these entangled love triangles are formed and sizzling tensions erupt, in this brooding story of morality and fatal misjudgement in the face of attraction. Focusing centrally on the witty and glamorous actress, Desiree Armfeldt, the audience are left looking through the key hole to witness her weaving of a scandalous life of romantic affairs, secrets and passion. As each parallel story unfolds, each couples' web of deceit becomes more densely entwined, whilst the spiralling effects of one moment become allusively apparent.
Lapping up its continuously ecstatic reviews, 'A Little Night Music has been headlining in London and is now playing Broadway under the direction of Trevor Nunn, with stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. Being a five-star global success story has indeed made no dent in the originality of this poignant musical, and sparked no immediate plans of shying away from the highly impressed theatre world either it appears. With moving melodies galore, including the classic, 'Send in the Clowns,' is it really any wonder the ecstatic press are screaming out for more? "It positively throbs with love, regret and desire" exclaims The Daily Telegraph, encored by The Guardian, who praises Sondheim's memorable and "exquisite revival."
Overshadowed by the heavy presence of regret, 'A Little Night Music' takes things 'back to basics' and confronts 'head-on' the notion of whether its really better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all…
Proving good things really do come in small packages, 'A Little Night Music's' surprisingly powerful plot centres around not only around the weighty topics of love and loss, but also the importance of growth. Pristine and brave with its storytelling, Sondheim's moral circus and "perfect production," as rightly said by the Mail on Sunday, yet again raises the roof and sets pulses ablaze in his fiery and stylishly glazed musical, matched tidily up with an enormous range of rich and untutored feeling.
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