A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: SONDHEIME’S NOT MOZART’S

 

By:  Hal de Becker

 

 

An outstanding production of ‘A Little Night Music’, Stephen Sondheim’s musical adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic film ‘Smiles of a Summer Night’, runs through January 29 at Las Vegas Little Theatre.

 

The tuneful 1973 award winning Broadway hit bubbles over with clever repartee and naughty wit reminiscent of Noel Coward dialogue and Cole Porter lyrics.  Husbands, wives, lovers and mistresses interact, inter-change and re-consider in the risqué romp.         

 

LVLT’s actors, singers and musicians all perform splendidly and Walter Niejadok’s direction is flawless.

 

Glenn Heath, a consummate professional, brings charm, humor and humanity to the role of the conflicted Fredrik who’s much younger bride, Anne, portrayed by Amanda Collins, has avoided consummating their marriage for nearly a year.  

 

Although he loves Anne, he experiences renewed desire for his former lover the actress star, Desiree, who shares his revived feelings.  She is portrayed by Melissa Riezler with the worldly flair expected of her character.  Her rendering of the touching song ‘Send in the Clowns’ is a highlight.  

 

As Desiree’s wealthy mother, Madame Armfeldt, Barbara Costa almost steals the show when she relates with biting wit (and superb diction) the amorous and profitable escapades of her youth.    

 

Hallie Lyons in the role of Charlotte schemes to regain the affections of her husband, the womanizing Count Magnus portrayed by London Mace.  She resorts to the tried and true   method of making him jealous.  Pretty Lillie Davis is impressive in the ingénue role of Fredrika whose paternity is only revealed in the show’s final moments.

 

Fredrik’s son, Henrik, is enacted by Michael Blair.  Not only is he is effective as the typically tormented coming-of-ager but he also accompanies his own songs on the cello.  April Sauline as Petra the lusty household maid willingly helps to raise his spirits.   

 

Vocalists Elaine Fitzpatrick, Cindy lee Stock, Shana Brouwers, Chris Hahn and Noah Keeling act as a sort of Greek Chorus quintet commenting on the characters and their actions.

 

Under the baton of Toby McEvoy, LVLT’s 10 piece chamber orchestra provides not only excellent accompaniment but also a concert level performance of the exquisite score.

 

Rose Scarborough’s plush period costumes are colorful and seem ingeniously designed to allow for rapid changes.  Sets by Ron Lindblom, whether elaborate or surprisingly simple, are eye-filling and inventive.  Lighting by Ginny Adams contributes significantly to the production’s visual appeal.     

 

I won’t reveal who winds up with whom in the eventual coupling of the show’s characters.  Needless to say, there are many surprises.

 

LVLT is a non-profit organization.  For ticket info call 702-362-7996 or go on line to www.lvlt.org.   

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