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Tangled tale of love endures in 'Night Music'
Published in 4-3-2014
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[...] given what has passed for musical theater in recent seasons, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's exquisitely crafted neo-operetta - with its entire score cleverly cast in 3/4 time, or multiples thereof - impresses more mightily than ever. [...] a show regarded as the height of style and sophistication does seem a natural fit for a fashion legend. HGO will use the same Mizrahi costumes and sets, with director Matthew Ozawa (who was Mizrahi's assistant director) directing after Mizrahi's staging - with such changes as are deemed necessary to suit the different cast and stage configuration. Inspired by the 1955 Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night," and like it, set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, "A Little Night Music" portrays a tangle of mismatched lovers whose emotional confusion culminates in a weekend in the country. [...] the uninvited Count and Countess crash the party, as well. Perhaps the secret of its success was that "A Little Night Music" offered familiar, audience-friendly elements while maintaining Sondheim's characteristic depth and sophistication. [...] I think the advantage with our cast is that they are not only incredible singers, but also incredible actors, who maintain the human element in their portrayals. "The whole 'stylish operetta' aspect is very much part of the show's appeal," says HGO assistant music director Eric Melear, who is conducting. Sondheim's notion of making the entire score, in effect, a musical theme and variations - making it all multiples of waltz time - means that, even when it does not sound like a waltz, the show has that pulse sustaining it all evening.