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THEATER REVIEW: ‘A Little Night Music’ plays Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Stage through August 28

Sierra Boggess, Cooper Grodin, Jason Danieley, Sabina Collazo, Noah Wolfe, Sophie Mings. Photo by Daniel Rader.

A little night music
Barrington Stage Company in Great Barrington
Book written by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Julianne Boyd
Based on the 1955 film “Smiles of a Midsummer Night” by Ingmar Bergman

“Hi Ho, glamorous life.”

This summer in The Berkshires take the opportunity to spend a summer in Sweden where the sun doesn’t set, where lovers get together, where the waltz won’t leave you in trouble for getting wet. Enjoy the smiles of a warm summer night at the Barrington Stage Company’s Stephen Sondheim Festival at ‘A Little Night Music’. Director Julianne Boyd and choreographer Robert La Fosse will leave you dancing, or at least wishing you were dancing, in the lobby after the show. A brilliant and beautiful company of gamers deliver a show’s impact on what it means to love and recognize it, what it means to find the love you dream of, whether it’s a great actress, the son of the miller or a dragon. or a student. Boyd’s production of this classic Stephen Sondheim show is about as good as it gets and I’ll happily tell you why.

Emily Skinner. Photo by Daniel Rader.

It’s all about beauty. Beautiful people on a beautiful set by Yoon Bae wearing beautiful costumes by Sara Jean Tosetti beautifully lit by David Lander doing beautiful music directed by Darren R. Cohen is all you need to put on a beautiful show. Fortunately, Boyd has all of these elements well in hand. And beauty doesn’t stop at physical production. No way.
Emily Skinner makes beautiful music as Desiree Armfeldt. The same goes for Sierra Boggess as Countess Charlotte Malcolm. They are joined by handsome Jason Daniely as Fredrik Egerman and Cooper Grodin as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. All four sing beautifully together and separately. They all show passion and they all do it beautifully. The only thing they lack is the connection, the physical connection that is denied to them by the script. It takes a maid (Sophia Mingo) and a butler to introduce passion with a kiss and more into the proceedings. Once they pass this stage, the others fall in love and fall hard. Even Henrik (the handsome Noah Wolfe) and Anne (the pretty Sabina Collazo).

Of course, the Greek chorus of dancing singers brings us romance from the first moments of the show until the last. They form a great quintet of musicians, romantic in their dress and attitude. They are the beautiful Adam Richardson, Rebecca Pitcher, Stephanie Bacastow, Andrew Marks Maughan and Leslie Jackson. They are basically the show’s traffic lights, the mascots, the idiom of this musical. They are there to show the way, to hold the compass, to point to the past while admiring the present and predicting the future. They “remember” and they live in “perpetual expectation”.

It’s this sense of anticipation in a world where “the sun won’t set” that sets this show apart from what Sondheim has done before and would become after this. It was the only show Sondheim wrote that produced a pop song hit, ‘Send in the Clowns’, and it was an afterthought, not part of his dream when he and Hugh Wheeler adapted a movie. twenty-year-old Swede in this musical. .

Andrew Marks Maughan, Stephanie Bacastow, Sierra Boggess, Adam Richardson, Cooper Grodin, Rebecca Pitcher. Photo by Daniel Rader.

Its singer, Desiree, is the middle generation of women in the Armfeldt family. There is also his daughter, deliciously played by Kate Day Magocsi. It’s impossible to ignore Desiree’s hot-tempered, wheelchair-bound mother, the fiercely determined and prejudiced Madame Armfeldt, played engagingly by the glamorous Mary Beth Peil who sings about her reminiscences of her romantic “Liaisons” with kings and dukes.

In case you’re put off by a show with so much romance and dancing, don’t despair. There’s melancholy, murder, suicide and Russian roulette to deal with before the night is over.

But its beauty is almost impossible to ignore. With each turn, each change of scene, this spectacle becomes more captivating. Robert La Fosse’s dances fill the stage with very few dancers, and although the choir is limited to just five people, no one dances alone for long, which only multiplies the romance and memories in the songs they sing. One last very personal note on the production: among the stunt doubles is the remarkable Teri Ralston who was part of the original quintet and with whom I worked in “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”.

If, like me, you’re addicted to romance, there’s no better place to find it than at Barrington Stage Company’s beautiful production of “A Little Night Music” in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Try not to miss something that you know “would have been wonderful.”

“A Little Night Music” performs on the Boyd-Quinson Stage at Barrington Stage Company, Union Street, Pittsfield, MA through August 28.