Set in Sweden at the turn of the last century, the multi-Tony-winning musical A Little Night Music is a story about love, loss, regret, and second chances. Desiree is a glamorous actress who has left her teenage daughter to be raised by her mother in the country. Her former lover Fredrik walks back into her life after seeing her in a performance and wants to rekindle their relationship. But there's a complication. Well, several complications. Fredrik has a new young wife Anne, who has so far refused to consummate the marriage. And his son Henrik is in love with her. Desiree has a married lover, who's very jealous and possessive of both his wife and mistress. When the entire group is invited out to Desiree's mother's house in the country, much hijinks ensue, as you can imagine. Lovers meet and break up, hearts are broken and repaired, and everyone has a lovely, if bittersweet, time. This is a comedy, almost a farce, but one with an undercurrent of sadness, longing, regret, and weariness of life.*
This ten-person cast is smaller than usual; there is no separate quintet, the Greek chorus of singers. Instead that role is filled by various other characters or cast members doubling, making this a smaller more intimate affair. The quintet role seems mostly to fall to the servants Frid and Petra, characters who don't normally sing a lot - a very smart choice when they're played by Bradley Greenwald and Britta Ollmann, both of whom have gorgeous voices (and Britta is also featured on a great fun song "The Miller's Son").
|Desiree and Fredrik (Sally Wingert and Mark Benninghofen)
(photo by Dan Norman)
This talented ensemble also includes Grace Chermak, with a lovely voice and youthfulness as Fredrik's young wife Anne; Riley McNutt as his adorably forlorn and lovesick son Henrik; Rodolfo Nieto as Desiree's lover, the stern and demanding count; Elizabeth Hawkinson as his neglected wife who puts the plan in motion to get her husband back; Susan Hofflander as Desiree's wise and endlessly quotable mother; and last but not least, the young and charming Mabel Weismann as Desiree's daughter.
|waltzing behind the curtain (photo by Dan Norman)
|Fredrika and Anne (Mabel Weisman and Grace Chermak)
(photo by Dan Norman)
A Little Night Music is one of the best musicals from one of our best living composers, brought to life by one of #TCTheater's best interpreters of music-theater. Continuing through March 3 at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis.
|the sepia toned cast of A Little Night Music (photo by Dan Norman)
*Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about TheaterMu's production a few years ago.