Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Life in the Theater: A Little Night Music

Strangely enough this is the first Sondheim production I have seen and we saw it last week at the Performance Network in Ann Arbor. It was terrific. Now I am keen to see more. Music and lyrics by Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler based on a Bergman film SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT.


Anonymous said...

Seriously? The first Sondheim you've ever seen? Not even WEST SIDE STORY? Wow, I'm surprised. But I guess you don't see that many musicals.

We've seen NIGHT MUSIC 6 times, including the original production in 1973 when it was in previews, a revival at the National Theatre in 1996 with Judi Dench, and the most recent Broadway revival, with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury and again with Bernadette Peters (we found her disappointing) and Elaine Stritch.

We've also see COMPANY (my favorite - 7 times), FOLLIES (5), PACIFIC OVERTURES and SWEENEY TODD more than once, as well as Sondheim's collaborative WEST SIDE STORY and GYPSY.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have seen GYPSY. Didn't think of it as Sondheim.

Anonymous said...

Sondheim and Jule Styne.

Jeff M.

neer said...

Hi Patti

Here's my FFB - Tje Jungle by Upton Sinclair


J F Norris said...

The first Sondheim you've seen? Really? Like Jeff I'm surprised. You never caught one of the many productions of SWEENEY TODD over the years? Time to make up for that. But don't watch the movie version. Johnny Depp does his best, but Helen Bonham Carter is grossly miscast. Tim Burton completely misunderstands the musical genre and botches too much of the story.

I think you'd like COMPANY. There is a DVD version of the Broadway revival done in 2006 (originally mounted in Cincinnati) in which all the actors play the instruments themselves. We saw it in NYC and I thought it was very well done. Especially good were Raul Esparza as Bobby and the actress who played Amy who sings one of the most phenomenal renditions of "I'm Not Getting Married" ever done.

You should also look for the DVD OF PACIFIC OVERTURES - an amazing show and a terrific production.

Ron Scheer said...

I have a special attachment to ALNM. My wife played Desiree in a university production many years ago. I believe all the songs are in 3/4 time? The Bergman film is also a winner.

Anonymous said...

John, the two most unusual productions of COMPANY we saw were in 1997. First was at Poly Prep, the local school near us, and second was an American college group at the Edinburgh Festival.

We also saw the original production on Broadway and in London, and the production you mentioned with Raul Esparza, as well as a 1995 Rondabout production with Boyd Gaines, who I prefer to Esparza.

SWEENEY TODD - we saw the original fantastic production with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury, a London production with Denis Quilley and Sheila Hancock and the minimalist/actors playing instruments revival with Michael Cervis and Patti LuPone.

Jeff M.