John Frayne | ‘A Little Night Music’ a strange experience | Music

By | November 13, 2022

The acclaimed musical ‘A Little Evening Music’, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and ebook by Hugh Wheeler, opened at 7.30pm on the Tryon Pageant Theater on October 25. It was then performed on October 28 at 7 p.m. :30 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.

As we all know, this Sondheim musical was primarily based on a well-known movie by Ingmar Bergman, “Smiles of a Summer time Evening”, a lightweight comedy about romantic entanglements in the course of the summer time holidays in Sweden. A part of the celebrity of “Smiles” was how totally different it was from the very critical tone of most Bergman movies.

Watching the Lyric Theater @ Illinois model of “A Little Evening Music” on October 25 was a bizarre expertise for me. I do know the “Ship within the Clowns” quantity was the massive hit on the present, however I wasn’t ready for the massive affect Emma Mize as Desirée Armfeldt had when she sang that quantity. , late within the sequence. Because of this, the musical stage of the present went from superb to magnificent! I used to be overwhelmed, and judging by the standing ovation, I used to be not alone.

I understand that evaluating the greats with the lesser will be unfair, and one can hardly remorse that Sondheim wrote such a beautiful quantity, regardless that he dominates his environment within the sequence.

One of many standout performances of the night was Daybreak Harris’ portrayal of outdated Madame Armfeldt, a personality who represents the social apex of the play’s characters. Harris memorably delivered the “Liasons” quantity, by which she, from her Olympian perspective, regarded down on the reasonably foolish happenings within the sordid romantic relationships of the younger folks round her.

And I discovered the dilemma of middle-aged Frederik Egerman, energetically performed by Eldon Warner, a bit lighthearted. He married an 18-year-old lady, Anne, performed with seductive naivety by Lauren Zimmerman. Eleven months have handed and the wedding will not be consummated. This serio-comic scenario turns right into a farce when Frederik turns to an outdated flame, getting older actress Desirée Armfeldt, and Frederik comes into battle with Desirée’s lover, Carl-Magnus, performed with bellicose bravado by Salvatore Castronovo.

As Frederik and Desirée resolve a romantic dilemma, Frederik’s younger son Henrik, performed with the seriousness befitting a Lutheran seminarian by Liam Flynn, elopes along with his father’s younger spouse, Anne, who’s technically the attractive -mother of Hendrik. This considerably advanced comedic motion was effectively directed by Daybreak Harris.

Charlotte, the affected person however resourceful spouse of Carl-Magnus, was performed effectively by Paige Calvert. Petra, the maid, acquired a superb efficiency from Kathryn King, and her rendition of “The Miller’s Son” acquired very heat applause. The position of Fredrika Armfeldt, the teenage daughter of Frederik Egerman and Desirée Armfeldt, was performed with quiet assurance by Catheryn Kuhar.

Probably the greatest issues about this manufacturing was the massive manufacturing numbers, comparable to the primary act finale, “A Weekend within the Nation”. These numbers in addition to the various waltzes have been effectively choreographed by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and Alex Tecza. Minghan Ma’s stage design featured “three giant partitions with dance/natural curves” that aimed to distinction our inside selves with our social selves. The partitions have been laid and eliminated with finesse.

I used to be intrigued by the actions of 5 singers, wearing improbable costumes, who have been mentioned to behave like a “Greek choir”. Not like the opposite characters, there have been virtually no supertitles for his or her singing. These roles have been carried out by Caitlin Towell, Maya Cornejo, Alejandra Sandoval, Martin Pizarro and Nathan Tilton.

A listing of musical numbers and a synopsis of the motion might have clarified sure features of this manufacturing. I discovered later that the character of Madame Armfeldt was to go “unnoticed” on the ultimate curtain. If it was indicated on this manufacturing, I missed it within the grand finale elsewhere.

John Frayne hosts “Classics of the Phonograh” on Saturdays on WILL-FM and, in retirement, teaches at UI. His e mail is [email protected]